CHINESE transport authorities have agreed to talks between Chinese shipping companies and their Taiwan counterparts next month in Hong Kong on direct shipping links as proposed by Taiwan's offshore transshipment centre, the Economic Daily News reported. The mainland was not opposed to Taiwan's plan to open up an offshore shipping centre in the southern port city of Kaosiung, according to a top official who works with the China State Council's Taiwan Affairs Office, the newspaper said. The report quoted domestic sources in the shipping business as saying they expected China to announce newly drafted regulations that would govern the cross-Strait shipping business. The sources also added that the mainland was ready to accept applications from Taiwan companies to sail the cross-Strait route in December. Last month, Taiwan premier Lien Chan accused China of being unco-operative over the transshipment project.