Thursday, January 11, 2018

Analysis: China’s New Air Routes Near Taiwan: Why Now? To What End?

Beijing has reneged on an agreement reached with Taipei in 2015, in part to destabilize the Tsai Ing-wen administration and to show who is boss in the region. Given the air safety risks caused by such unilateral moves, the international community cannot afford to remain silent 

The unilateral activation by China earlier this month of four air routes close to the median line in the Taiwan Strait has sparked protests by Taipei and led analysts to conclude that Beijing is ramping up the pressure on the Tsai Ing-wen administration following the conclusion of the 19th CCP Party Congress. 

Four routes — a northbound path for the M503 line and three east-west extension routes (W121, W122 and W123) — were launched without prior consultation by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). At its nearest point, M503 is 7.8 km from the median line on the Taiwan Strait and close to the Taipei Flight Information Region (FIR). It is also close to a training area for the Taiwanese Air Force. W122 and W123 are close to the offshore islands of Matsu and Kinmen. 

Continues here.

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