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China disputes shouldn’t affect flight safety: Scholar


A professor of China studies at Tamkang University in New Taipei says cross-strait political differences should not affect aviation safety.


Chang Wu-ueh was speaking Friday at a symposium on the impact of China’s decision to announce four new flight paths that approach the median line of the Taiwan Strait.


Chang said it is understandable that China wants more flight routes due to growing air traffic along its southeastern coast. However, Chang said the new flight paths touch on aviation safety and national security, so there is no room for misunderstanding. Chang called on China to interact with Taiwan on the matter.

“In 2018, there are nine major tasks for China’s aviation sector. The first is to work on raising safety levels. Therefore, whether in consultation or negotiation over technical matters, aviation authorities on both sides must interact to ensure that there is no non-human-related negative impact on flight safety. Of course, cross-strait ties will be affected by political issues. But even so, aviation safety should not be affected by political differences across the Taiwan Strait," said Chang.


Chang said 70% of China’s airspace is reserved for military use, which limits the space for commercial airlines. Without cross-strait consultations, Chang said there could be unexpected risks.