Kinmen, Matsu ferry resumes after 3 years

BEIJING: The ferry services between the coastal areas of Fujian province and the outlying islands of Kinmen and Matsu, which are governed by Taiwan authorities, resumed over the weekend after a suspension of nearly three years.
A ferry departed Kinmen for Xiamen at 10:30 am on Saturday with 25 passengers on board, and returned to Kinmen with 65 passengers at 12:30 pm, completing the first round-trip.
The first ferry trip between Matsu and Fuzhou, capital of Fujian, took place on Sunday. At 10 am, a boat carrying 30 people departed from Matsu, and returned in the afternoon with 14 people.
Long Mingbiao, deputy director of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, and other mainland officials visited the port in Xiamen on Saturday to welcome Taiwan compatriots taking the first trip and to express Spring Festival wishes.
The ferry has been suspended for three years, causing great inconvenience to Taiwan compatriots, especially Kinmen residents, he said.
Chen Fu-hai, county head of Kinmen, who took the first ferry to Xiamen to welcome residents back, said the ferry services are meaningful to the county, and with it, Kinmen connects the mainland and Taiwan.
“I am happy as I no longer need to travel all over to get home,” said Kinmen resident Hsu Kai-hsiang, who took the ferry. During the suspension, he had to travel first to Taiwan Island and then back to Kinmen, which was a waste of both time and money.
The ferry services, which were launched in 2001, were suspended by the island’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party in February 2020 as part of COVID-19 pandemic prevention and control measures.
–The Dialy Mail-China Daily news exchange item