China, Taiwan begin direct flights
The first direct flights between bitter rivals China and Taiwan since the end of a civil war 55 years ago started carrying Lunar New Year holidaymakers amid hopes for improving cross-strait relations.
Six Chinese planes landed in Taipei and one in southern Kaohsiung while Taiwan's China Airlines and EVA Airways also each sent a flight to Beijing on the first day of the temporary opening of the air links.
China's flag carrier Air China flew two planes from its subsidiary Shangdong Airlines to avoid showing the mainland flag in Taiwan.
Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian, who is currently visiting the Pacific nation of Palau, said the landmark flights proved "difficulties can be overcome as long as the two sides have sincerity and sit down to negotiate."
Passengers and crew aboard the flights that first landed in Taiwan were greeted at Taipei's Chiang Kai-shek International Airport by government officials, parliamentarians and business representatives.