From Jan 7 to Sunday, more than 3,200 passengers took the ferry between the coastal areas of East China's Fujian province and the outlying islands of Kinmen and Matsu of Taiwan, according to the Taiwan affairs authority of Fujian.
The ferry routes — which resumed on Jan 7 after being suspended for nearly three years and will operate until Feb 6 to facilitate travel during the Spring Festival holiday — are important for residents of the outlying islands to travel across the Taiwan Straits.
Ferries operating between Fujian's Xiamen and Kinmen carried more than 3,000 passengers on 46 trips, and ferries between provincial capital Fuzhou and Matsu transported over 230 passengers on 10 trips, according to data from the Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macao Affairs Office of the Fujian provincial government.
Over the weekend, Song Tao, head of both the Taiwan Work Office of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, visited Xiamen to learn about the ferry operations. He also met representatives of the Taiwan compatriots working in Fujian to listen to their opinions and suggestions.
Song said: "Peace, development, exchanges and cooperation are the common aspiration of people on both sides of the Straits."
Now that the epidemic has been put under control on the mainland, Taiwan compatriots can feel at ease studying, working, starting businesses and living on the mainland, he said.
"Compatriots on both sides of the Straits have a strong desire for exchanges. We attach great importance to this and are fully prepared," he added.
Song condemned Taiwan's authorities for using the epidemic as an excuse to obstruct cross-Straits exchanges, saying it went against public opinion.
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