Wed, Jan 31, 2018 - Page 8 News List

ICAO threatens Strait’s ‘status quo’

By Peter Chen 陳正義

In addition, China mapped three feeder routes into the Strait, intersecting with M503 8 nautical miles short of the “Davis Line.”

Never mind that Beijing is required by ICAO procedures to coordinate with “affected parties” before launching new routes.

Under Item 4.2.6 of the ICAO’s Air Traffic Services Planning Manual, changes to any route should be made only after it has been coordinated with all parties concerned.

American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) spokeswoman Sonia Urbom reiterated the US government’s position that it opposes any unilateral actions by either side of the Strait to alter the cross-strait “status quo.”

“We encourage authorities in Beijing and Taipei to engage in constructive dialogue, on the basis of dignity and respect,” she added.

However, Washington should be more alarmed by the sudden erosion of nearly seven decades of the precious “status quo” in the Strait.

We therefore recommend that the US administration dispatch US Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao (趙小蘭) to Taiwan to oversee US-Taiwan civil aviation cooperation, especially in areas where Taiwan and the US need to coordinate on ICAO standards and routinize information exchanges.

Perhaps the US Department of Transportation could attach an officer to the AIT in Taipei as a civil aviation attache.

However, if the shipping and aviation “status quo” in the Strait is to be shorn up, both Taipei and Washington must act now.

Peter Chen is president of the Washington-based Formosan Association for Public Affairs.

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