The United States on Monday welcomed direct transportation links between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan, calling it a "very positive" step for the improvement of cross-Strait relations.
"These transportation links across the Taiwan Straits are very positive, and so we've always encouraged cross-Strait dialogue. We continue to do so," State Department deputy spokesman Robert Wood told a news briefing.
For the first time since 1949, the Chinese mainland and Taiwan started direct air and sea transport and postal services earlier in the day, the latest step to improve once-strained relations.
The mainland has been the largest trading partner of Taiwan since 2003, with annual trading volume surpassing 100 billion U.S. dollars. Formerly, air and sea movements -- including mail -- had to go by way of a third place.