Sat, Jun 02, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Government answers questions about China coercion

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

The government would address issues caused by China’s coercion of airlines to list Taiwan as a province of China at a suitable time and venue, and not at the International Aviation Safety Summit in Taipei next year, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) said on Thursday.

China in April sent letters to global airlines requesting that they list Taiwan as province of China.

The US government has dismissed China’s move as “Orwellian nonsense.”

Of the 44 airlines that were contacted, 18 have chosen to comply. The remaining airlines have asked for more time to comply due to technical reasons.

Beijing early last month also told the International Air Transport Association that its members should all recognize Taiwan as belonging to China.

China’s increasingly aggressive attempts to dwarf Taiwan’s sovereignty was the focus of a question-and-answer session at a meeting of the Legislative Yuan’s Transportation Committee yesterday, which was scheduled to review an amendment to the Mass Rapid Transit Act (大眾捷運法).

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) asked Deputy Minister of Transportation and Communications Wang Kwo-tsai (王國材) how the government plans to respond to China’s continuous animosity.

China has repeatedly stepped on our bottom line, Lin said

As Taiwan is to host the International Aviation Safety Summit in Taipei next year, the government should discuss this matter, as well as safety issues caused by China’s unilateral launch of the northbound M503 aviation route in January, he said.

Taiwan should not censor itself regarding issues that could be discussed at the summit, Lin said, adding that the government should toughen up.

The summit’s topics would mainly concern safety issues related to aircraft maintenance, as well as the landing and departure of airplanes, Wang said, adding that problems between China and Taiwan might not be listed as part of the summit’s agenda.

Taiwan would host and attend the summit under the name “Chinese Taipei,” the same name used to join APEC and other international organizations, Wang said.

“We will show the world Taiwan’s efforts to enhance aviation safety, which is a universal value. Politics must play no part in safeguarding aviation safety. We will make such statements at the appropriate time and venue,” Wang said.

The ministry said the summit is an important platform for people seeking to understand the latest trends in the aviation industry, with the topics set to be discussed next year ranging from aviation safety, personnel training, management strategies and practical solutions to crucial matters facing the industry.

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