China further opened shipping links with Taiwan, raising the number of mainland ports from which ships can sail directly to the island from two to five, according to a report in the South China Morning Post. Ships are now able to go to southwest Taiwan's Kaohsiung port directly from Shanghai, Zhejiang province's Ningbo and Shenzhen's Yantian port. Ships had previously only been able to sail directly to Kaohsiung from the ports at Fuzhou and Xiamen in adjacent Fujian province. The ban on direct trade between the mainland and Taiwan is still in effect, limiting ships traveling from the mainland to Taiwan to picking up cargo in Kaohsiung for on-shipment to another country such as the US. The expansion of direct shipping links was reportedly ordered prior to Taiwan's presidential election in March and was not publicized in mainland media.
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