China agreed to the first direct charter flights between Taiwan and the mainland, beginning in time for the Lunar New Year holidays in February, opposition lawmakers from the island said. The announcement came from a delegation of six members of the opposition Kuomintang party who traveled to Beijing to thrash out a deal on the flights. If it is confirmed that China has agreed to the plan, it needs also to be approved by Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian. The flights would be the first direct air links between the island and the mainland in more than 50 years. Previous charters have had to stop over in Hong Kong or Macau.
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