Passengers arrive in Xiamen via the Xiamen-Jinmen shipping route. [Photo by Zhang Qihui for chinadaily.com.cn]
Roughly 20 million passengers have made the trip between Xiamen in Fujian province and Jinmen, a county in Taiwan close to the Chinese mainland, following the "three exchanges" between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan 10 years ago, local media reported on Dec 4.
The "three exchanges" refer to exchange of mail, trade, air and shipping services; the opening of postal, aviation and navigational services, and commercial interflow.
Xiamen's close location to Taiwan, from which it is separated by the Taiwan Strait, makes travel by ship the most popular option for passengers and cargo between the two places.
Xiamen port houses three shipping routes bound for Taiwan, including the Xiamen-Jinmen route, the Xiamen-Taiwan passenger, cargo and ro-ro (roll-on roll-off) route, and the Xiamen-Taiwan direct freight route, according to Xiamen port management bureau.
Over the past 10 years, passenger and cargo volume delivered by sea between Xiamen and Taiwan has seen a steady increase.
To date, more than 17.7 billion passengers have travelled the Xiamen-Jinmen route since its launch in 2001 and the figure for January to October this year stood at 1.4 million, up by 9.1 percent year-on-year.
As of October, the ship sailing along the Xiamen-Taiwan passenger, cargo and ro-ro route has completed 865 journeys, carrying 440,000 passengers, 76,000 containers and 1,557 vehicles.
Flights are also an option for travel between Xiamen and Taiwan. Statistics from Xiamen Airlines, the main cross-Straits carrier in Xiamen, show that the company has transported more than 2 million people between the two places over the past decade.
A delegation from Sasebo, Japan visited Xiamen, Fujian province from Jan 15 to 18 to explore the operation of cultural institutions in the city.
A delegation from Malaysia headed by Yeoh Soon Hin, executive councillor of Penang State, visited Xiamen, Fujian province from Jan 5 to 8.