The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said Thursday that it has attempted without success to seek consultation with China over new flight paths in the Taiwan Strait. The MAC is the government’s main agency charting China policy.
MAC spokesperson Chiu Chui-cheng said Taiwan has urged the Chinese side to consult with Taiwan in line with a March 2015 consensus on matters relating to civil aviation. He said Beijing’s only response was a fax sent on January 6 stating that its new flight paths are in international airspace. It did not address Taiwan’s stated concerns over the move.
Beijing recently announced four new flight paths that approach the median line of the Taiwan Strait. Chiu said the move was unilateral and presented concerns for aviation safety for which the Chinese side should bear responsibility.
Chiu said Taiwan is seeking to let the international community know that the new flight paths raise new risks in the Taiwan Strait and in the region. He said the rules, norms and spirit of international civil aviation require that countries affected are consulted before a new flight path is announced. He said China’s new flight paths have already affected routes between Taiwan’s main island and outlying islands in the Taiwan Strait.