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Direct air route launched between Henan and Taiwan

  ZHENGZHOU, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- A direct air route between central China's Henan Province and Taiwan was launched here Sunday.

  The maiden flight, carrying more than 130 passengers, took off at about 8:10 a.m. at the Xinzheng International Airport in Zhengzhou City, the provincial capital.

  The Zhengzhou-Taipei flight was operated by Shenzhen Airlines.

  "The direct flight has shortened the distance between Henan and Taiwan, and also saved the traveling time and cost between the two places," said Wang Rensheng, head of the association of Taiwan-funded enterprises in Zhengzhou.

  "It benefits the people across the straits and will attract more investment from Taiwan."

  The province's vice governor Song Xuantao said both cultural exchanges and trade between the two sides have been on a stable rise in recent years.

  As of the end of last year, Henan approved more than 1,480 Taiwan-funded enterprises, with a contractual investment of 1.65 billion U.S. dollars in total.