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The Resumption of Passenger Service Under the Mini-three-links Must Proceed Steadily to Be Sustainable

  • Date:2022-12-24

MAC Press Release No. 034

  The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) issued the following press release in response to the recent criticisms and appeals for further opening-up by certain parties pertaining to the Lunar New Year Charter Ferry Program for Kinmen and Matsu (hereinafter the “Charter Ferry Program”). The MAC stated that a step-by-step approach to resuming passenger service under the Mini-three-links is the best choice in view of the risks of the COVID-19 pandemic. The mutual understanding and support from all sides is vital to the steady and sustainable resumption of the links.

  The MAC stated that the government's policy stance is to gradually resume healthy and orderly cross-Strait exchanges to the extent that the COVID-19 pandemic remains under control. Relevant agencies continue to work towards loosening measures in a prudent and responsible manner in accordance with the instructions by the President and Premier Su of the Executive Yuan. The resumption of passenger service under the Mini-three-links has the greatest impact on the residents of Kinmen and Matsu in terms of cross-Strait travel and economic development; therefore, in formulating relevant policies, the government must make a comprehensive assessment, especially factoring in the opinions from Kinmen and Matsu.

  The MAC explained that the government suspended passenger service under the Mini-three-links for pandemic prevention. The COVID-19 situation in Taiwan may have been stable and under control, but resuming passenger service as mainland China is at the heights of the epidemic still requires utmost caution to avoid exacerbating the risks of people in Taiwan being infected and undermining Taiwanese citizens’ confidence regarding the follow-up resumption of cross-Strait exchanges and the benign development of cross-Strait relations.

  The MAC emphasized that limits on the scope of passengers and number of trips under the “Charter Ferry Program” is a show of responsibility on the government’s side due to the worsening COVID-19 situation in mainland China and limited medical capacity in Kinmen and Matsu. We need comprehensive instead of half measures to protect the lives, health, and safety of Kinmen and Matsu residents; satisfy the overall interests of Taiwan; and ensure smooth policy implementation.

  The MAC stated that the government is always mindful to do its utmost in response to the appeals of Taiwanese businesspeople and students in mainland China. However, some of these demands are not in the government's hands, so the government hopes that there will not be political manipulation or attempts to sow division.

  The MAC reiterated that this present program is the first step to the resumption of passenger service under the Mini-three-links and orderly post-pandemic cross-Strait exchanges. The government must implement this program successfully to build public confidence; meanwhile, this program will serve as an important reference point for the normalization of Mini-three-links passenger service and various cross-Strait exchanges. The government hopes that the people of Taiwan will extend mutual support in our attempts to proceed steadily and sustainably, and jointly embrace a healthy and orderly new life after the easing of the COVID-19 pandemic.