The government has made its stance on China’s unilateral activation of northbound flights on aviation route M503 known to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) personally and via several diplomatic allies, but has yet to receive a response, a government source with knowledge of the matter said.
The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the issue, said Beijing was required by ICAO regulations to coordinate with affected parties before launching new routes, but it failed to do so before unilaterally activating northbound flights on M503 and three new extension routes — W121, W122 and W123 — along China’s southeast coast on Thursday last week.
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.
Photo: CNA, courtesy of the Presidential Office
“The ICAO has been made aware of the matter... However, the organization is reluctant to intervene, but we still have to let our stance be known,” the source said, adding that as Taiwan is not a member of the UN agency on civil aviation matters, “our voice can hardly be heard.”
Asked whether the government planned to take further action, the source said that several ICAO member states friendly to Taiwan have spoken out in its favor, but declined to reveal whether he was referring to the US and Japan.
“We have also notified all our representative offices overseas to relay the government’s hope to other nations that their airlines refrain from using the controversial M503 route,” the source added.
Due to Chinese pressure, Taiwan has been excluded from the triennial ICAO assembly, except in 2013, when warmer cross-strait ties under then-president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) paved way for the nation’s attendance at the conference as a “guest.”
In January 2015, after receiving approval from the ICAO, China announced the activation of the M503 route — which, at its nearest point, is 7.8km from the Taiwan Strait’s median line — and the three extension routes, prompting protests from Taipei.
Following cross-strait negotiations an agreement was reached in March 2015 that China would only operate southbound flights on M503 and put the launch of the three extension routes on hold.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Andrew Lee (李憲章) yesterday told a news conference in Taipei that as the matter pertains to aviation routes, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications was in close contact with the ICAO.
“As a news release issued after a national security meeting chaired by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Sunday stated, the foreign ministry should initiate international campaigns and engage with foreign governments to secure the support of other nations and win the battle for international public opinion,” Lee said. “We will continue with such efforts.”
SECURITY CONCERNS: The Telecom Technology Center ran black-box tests for the Executive Yuan on devices and software from Chinese, US and South Korean firms Network devices from several Chinese manufacturers are insecure and allow personal information to be leaked, testing commissioned by the Executive Yuan has shown. A variety of devices and software, including apps, from Chinese, US and South Korean manufacturers that are used by government agencies at the central and local level were subjected to black-box testing — in which the functionality of an application is examined without knowing about its internal structure, an information-security official said yesterday on condition of anonymity. The Telecom Technology Center conducted the tests, which simulated cyberattacks, to determine their resilience to the attacks, the official said. The center
China would attack Taiwan if there is no other way of stopping it from becoming independent, Chinese General Li Zuocheng (李作成) said yesterday. Speaking at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People on the 15th anniversary of China’s “Anti-Secession” Law, Li, who is chief of the Joint Staff Department of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Central Military Commission, left the door open to using force. The 2005 law is China’s legislative basis for military action against Taiwan. “If the possibility for peaceful reunification is lost, the people’s armed forces will, with the whole nation, including the people of Taiwan, take all necessary steps to
Americans awoke yesterday to charred and glass-strewn streets in dozens of cities after another night of unrest fueled by rage over the mistreatment of African Americans at the hands of police, who responded to the violence with tear gas and rubber bullets. Tens of thousands marched peacefully through streets to protest the death of George Floyd, a black man who died on Monday last week after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee on his neck until he stopped breathing. However, many demonstrations sank into chaos as night fell: Vehicles and businesses were torched. The words “I can’t breathe” were
EXTRA INVITATIONS: Russia, Australia, South Korea and India would be asked to a later summit dedicated to countering China, Donald Trump said US President Donald Trump has been forced to cancel a planned face-to-face summit of G7 leaders this month and now wants to host an expanded meeting in September dedicated to countering China to which Russian President Vladimir Putin would be invited. Trump on Saturday announced that he had canceled the June meeting, which he had billed as a symbol of the US “transitioning back to greatness,” after German Chancellor Angela Merkel told him in a telephone call that she saw the summit in Washington as a health risk. Hundreds of security staff, journalists and officials also attend the two-day summits. Reports suggest