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TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) - China has given permission for more flights between it and Taiwan, bolstering the island as a gateway to the mainland.

Taiwan's Civil Aeronautics Administration said Monday that China agreed to let 14 more Chinese cities fly direct regular or charter flights to Taiwan, up from the current 40 cities.

This will allow Taiwan to have direct air links with more Chinese cities than Hong Kong. Officials say the Chinese territory now flies to fewer than 45 mainland spots.

Taiwan has 558 weekly flights with China, compared to about 800 by Hong Kong. The number of weekly flights between China and Taiwan will increase to 616 starting March.

Taiwan and China split amid civil war in 1949 but air links have grown in recent years along with closer trade and travel.


(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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