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Beijing holds ground against Taiwan’s air route complaint

Beijing asserted that it does not need the permission of Taiwan to open air routes.

The bold contention came after Taiwan lodged a complaint after Beijing opened a new route over the Taiwan Strait for flights between Hong Kong and Shanghai.

Taiwan claims that the new route poses a risk. Taipei says the route is in close proximity to the middle line of the Taiwan Strait that it affects air force drills and other flight operations.

Taiwan President, Tsai Ing-wen, described the opening of the route that is close to two groups of Taiwan-controlled islands off the coast as an irresponsible act that threatened aviation security and safety.

Taiwan officials went on and said that this month’s opening of the northbound M503 route over the strait was decided on without even informing Taipei, thus breaching a 2015 agreement to talk about flight paths before making changes.

But Beijing stood its ground with Ma Xiaoguang of China’s Taiwan Affairs Office disclosing that Taipei had been informed the route would be opening. Ma then said:

“But this does not mean opening air routes needs Taiwan’s agreement.”

Contrary to Taiwan’s charges, he said that the route offered no negative impact to aviation security. Rather, it addresses a dire need to alleviate pressure on congested routes between Hong Kong and Shanghai.

The International Civil Aviation Organization approved the route, Ma said, and Taiwan should just stop making much ado over nothing.

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