More rough than smooth in mainland-Taiwan shipping relations

Time:2009-11-13 Browse:18 Author:RISINGSUN

TAIWAN and mainland China`s marine fraternity have not been getting on lately as Beijing delays one meeting on cross strait shipping and Taipei delays the next.
The Taiwan News says the establishment of direct sea links has failed to improve the fortunes of Taiwan`s main port of Kaohsiung, saying direct links were supposed to improve trade, but the port`s throughput has fallen 21 per cent.
Nor are Taiwanese shipowners reaping much benefit from closer ties, largely because most Taiwanese ships sail under foreign flags, which are excluded from the cross strait trade.
This reinforces the feeling that Taiwan is getting the short end of the bargain with the Taiwan News declaring its sea ports have been transformed from "Asia-Pacific marine hubs" into "spokes" for mainland ports, principally Shanghai.
Few doubt Taiwanese ports are becoming dominated by Chinese hubs, but many say the trend was well established before the diplomatic thaw opened trade between the two.