China on Saturday approved five additional ports for direct shipping with Taiwan, Bloomberg reported, citing state media. The addition of ports Tongling, Shidao, Laizhou, Taizhou Damiyu and Ningbo-Zhoushan brings the total number of approved ports to 68. The announcement was made at a meeting on cross-Straits direct shipping in the southern coastal city of Xiamen, according to a report by the official Xinhua news agency. China agreed to exempt Taiwan shippers from business and corporate taxes on profits earned in the mainland from direct shipping. The exemption is effective as of December 15 of last year. The mainland will also help Taiwan shipping companies set up operations in China.