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Concerns over China’s actions in the Strait of Taiwan

As fireworks lightened up the skies around the world, the New Year began with a tint of optimism for relations between South and North Koreas, as the two resumed dialogue leading to the Winter Olympics

By: EBR - Posted: Friday, January 12, 2018

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This unilateral launch of the four new flight routes is a violation of the negotiation results between the Taipei Airline Association and China Air Transport Association in March 2015, when China repeatedly pledged not to activate these routes until after confirmation through further negotiations between the two sides.
This unilateral launch of the four new flight routes is a violation of the negotiation results between the Taipei Airline Association and China Air Transport Association in March 2015, when China repeatedly pledged not to activate these routes until after confirmation through further negotiations between the two sides.

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by Harry Tseng*

However, few have noticed that meanwhile it was China that is quietly changing the status quo of the regional peace and security. 

On 4 January 2018, the Chinese government unilaterally launched the northbound M503 flight route and three extension routes in the Taiwan Strait, which not only is against international civil aviation regulations but also disregards aviation safety.  

This unilateral launch of the four new flight routes is a violation of the negotiation results between the Taipei Airline Association and China Air Transport Association in March 2015, when China repeatedly pledged not to activate these routes until after confirmation through further negotiations between the two sides. 

These four flight routes comprise one that approaches the separation line of Taiwan and China in the Taiwan Strait, and the other three that may interfere with aviation services between Taiwan and its offshore islands of Kinmen and Matsu. Therefore the government of Taiwan sees such actions as not just controversial, but provocative and irresponsible. 

We would like to urge China to cease all flight activities involving these four routes, and to resume cross-strait negotiations on issues including aviation safety in the region.

While possibility of talks and dialogues to ease the tension on the Korean Peninsula starts to surface, one should be aware of how difficult it is to restore peace and stability once they are destroyed. We call on Beijing to cherish the hard-won peaceful and stable cross-strait relations, and hope that our dear friends in Europe and around the world will pay closer attention to and raise concerns over the provocative and irresponsible actions by Beijing. 

*Ambassador Harry Tseng is Representative of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to the EU and Belgium

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