Wed, Sep 25, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Ministry thanks allies, others for support at ICAO

GROWING BACKING:The foreign ministry said that while the nation has again been denied entry, more countries have aligned themselves with Taiwan

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

Civil Aeronautics Administration Deputy Director-General Ho Shu-ping, left, on Monday holds a news conference in Montreal, Canada, to show the nation’s willingness to join the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) on the eve of the opening of the ICAO Assembly.

Photo: CNA

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday thanked 12 allies and like-minded countries for supporting Taiwan’s participation in the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) assembly in Canada, although it was again rejected entry this year.

A UN specialized agency, the ICAO is holding its 40th three-yearly assembly in Montreal until Friday next week.

Expressing regret over Taiwan again being rejected by the organization due to political factors, the ministry said that the Taipei Flight Information Region managed by the Civil Aeronautics Administration is crucial, as Taiwan is an aviation hub connecting Northeast and Southeast Asia.

Taiwan was first denied participation at the assembly in 2016, it said.

Nonetheless, the nation has garnered support from more countries than in previous years, it added.

In an unprecedented milestone, the foreign ministers of the US, Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Japan in April said in the communique of their G7 meeting in France that they “support the substantive participation of all active members of the international aviation community in ICAO forums. Excluding some of its members for political purposes compromises aviation safety and security.”

The ministry said that 12 of Taiwan’s 15 diplomatic allies — Belize; Guatemala; Haiti; Honduras; Nauru; the Marshall Islands; Palau; Eswatini; Tuvalu; Saint Kitts and Nevis; Saint Lucia; and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines — wrote to ICAO president Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu or ICAO secretary-general Liu Fang (柳芳) to urge Taiwan’s participation in the assembly.

Those allies would continue speaking up for Taiwan at the assembly or express their support by attending receptions in Canada hosted by a Taiwanese delegation, it said.

Former NATO secretary-general and Danish politician Anders Fogh Rasmussen on Friday last week wrote in an op-ed in Canadian daily the Globe and Mail that “Taiwan was a founding member of the ICAO, but China is again seeking to deny Taipei access to the meeting, even though Taiwanese airspace serves 1.7 million flights a year.”

“Even though Taiwan is playing by the rules, the democratic world responds with indifference, or even fear of upsetting China,” which sends “a signal that Beijing can demand and threaten its way around democratic capitals,” he wrote.

Reminding the ICAO of its goal of promoting a “seamless sky” and “uniting aviation,” the ministry reiterated its call for the organization to seek proper means to include Taiwan, instead of being manipulated by a single member state.

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