WASHINGTON, Jan. 29 (UPI) -- The United States Saturday welcomed the resumption of direct flights between China and Taiwan after a 55 year hiatus.
"We welcome cross-strait flights during the Chinese New Year holiday period," said State Department spokesman Richard Boucher.
"We believe improving cross-strait economic ties, including cross-strait flights, serves the interest of both Taiwan and the People's Republic of China and is conducive to peace and security in the region."
Earlier Saturday, for the first time in over half a century, Chinese airliners flew non-stop to Taiwan.
A total of 18 flights from Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou landed in Taipei and Kaohsiung, carrying Taiwanese businessmen and their families home for the Lunar New Year.
A China Southern Airlines flight was the first to land at Taipei's Chiang Kai-shek International Airport.