Don’t, it’s bullshit. I just tasted AFP and while the story is there, it makes no mention of any demand for a name change. Here it is in it’s entirety.
o0053 ASI/AFP-UK95 ----- r i Taiwan-China-air sched-advancer 01-28 0781
Chinese aircraft set to land in Taiwan on historic direct flight
by Amber Wang
= (PICTURE) =
TAIPEI, Jan 28 (AFP) - A Chinese plane carrying Taiwanese businesspeople will fly into the history books Saturday when it lands here after the first direct flight between the two rivals in more than 55 years. Taiwan is laying on the full red carpet treatment, with top officials to welcome the first cross-strait passengers at Chiang Kai-shek International Airport and cocktails to follow. A China Southern Airlines aircraft will become the first mainland carrier to land in Taiwan since the two sides split in 1949 after a civil war. Flight CZ3097 is scheduled to take off from the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou at 8:00 am (0000 GMT) and land here at 9:30 am, officials from Taiwan's Civil Aeronautics Administration said. A Xiamen Airlines plane will land 10 minutes later. Ironically the airport is named after Kuomintang leader Chiang who fled here in 1949 with his nationalist forces in the face of the communist civil war victory and established a government-in-exile to rival Mao Zedong's People's Republic, which still claims sovereignty over the island. Despite rising tensions across the Taiwan Strait, Taiwan and China reached an agreement earlier this month to allow the first non-stop charter service between January 29 and February 20 during the Chinese New Year holidays. Taiwan has banned direct transport links with China since their split in 1949 despite growing business ties, allowing only air and sea exchanges via third ports. An estimated one million Taiwanese work in China. Six Chinese and six Taiwanese airlines will fly 24 round-trips via Hong Kong air space connecting the Chinese cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou with Taipei and Kaohsiung in Taiwan. On Saturday, the six mainland carriers will fly to Taipei and one to
Kaohsiung while the island’s China Airlines and EVA Airways will serve the
Taipei-Beijing route at 8:00 am and 8:30 am, respectively, the officials said.
During the Lunar New Year in 2003, Taiwanese planes were allowed to fly to Shanghai to pick up Taiwanese businesspeople and take them home with stops in Hong Kong or Macau. There was no similar service in 2004.
Taipei has hailed the landmark flights as a critical first step towards
improving ties while Beijing has been cool in its assessment.
“Besides direct flights for the Chinese New Year, we hope to negotiate with China on charter cargo flights, investment and trade issues and crime-fighting,” Joseph Wu, chairman of Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council, has said.
“We hope that confrontation between the two sides will turn into
cooperation,” the island’s top mainland policy maker added.
Beijing, however, has made it clear that the temporary air link does not mean long-stalled talks between the two sides have resumed.
“The Lunar New Year chartered flights are to fully show consideration for the interests of Taiwan compatriots and to make their return home convenient, safe and comfortable,” China’s Taiwan Affairs Office spokesman Li Weiyi said this week.
“In no way does it mean that cross-strait negotiations have resumed,” Li said.
Analysts are also skeptical that the limited air exchange could help much in improving the strained relations.
“Beijing may be softening on technical issues such as the charter service but it couldn’t possibly change its stance on the ‘one China’ policy,” said Liu Bi-rung, a political analyst at Soochow University.
Cross-strait tensions have risen since the re-election of Taiwan’s
pro-independence President Chen Shui-bian in March last year.
Chen has refused to accept Beijing’s “one China” policy which says Taiwan is an inseparable part of China.
“It’s too early to predict an ease in cross-strait tensions with Beijing drafting the ‘anti-secession’ law aimed at preventing Taiwan from becoming independent,” Liu said.
Despite the longstanding ban on direct links, limited direct exchanges – known as “mini-links” – were opened in 2002 between Taiwan’s frontline islands of Matsu and Kinmen and selected ports in China’s southeastern Fujian province.
While Saturday’s flights are the first commercial direct links, there have been unofficial direct contacts.
During a spate of hijackings between April 1993 and June 1994, 12 mainland passenger aircraft were forced to fly to Taiwan. The last hijacking was reported in 1998. Taiwan returned the planes and jailed the hijackers.
Taiwan in earlier decades rewarded Chinese air force pilots who defected to the island with their planes.
Taiwan-China-air AFP 280204 GMT JAN 05