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Direct shipping boosts mainland imports of Taiwan farm produce

  BEIJING, March 10 (Xinhua) -- China mainland's imports of duty-free farm produce from Taiwan grew 177 percent over the same period last year to 2,635 tonnes from Dec. 15 to mid-February, reflecting the policy of "three direct links", statistics released Tuesday showed.

  The General Administration of Customs said the goods were valued at 2.78 million U.S. dollars, up about 80 percent. The customs tariffs that would have been charged totaled 3.23 million yuan (472,200 U.S dollars).

  On Dec. 15, 2008, the mainland and Taiwan started direct flights, postal and shipping services, ending a 59-year ban on such links.

  Formerly, air and sea movements -- including mail -- had to go by way of a third place.

  The mainland repealed import taxes on 15 kinds of Taiwanese fruit on Aug. 1, 2005 and subsequently extended that policy to other Taiwan farm produce.