China intends to flout established flight routes and treat airspace over the Taiwan Strait as its own, a researcher said on Monday, after a Chinese civilian aircraft flew over Kinmen County last month.
China Eastern Airlines Flight MU-505 from Shanghai to Hong Kong on April 29 deviated from flight route M503 — which follows China’s coastline and then travels through international waters in the Taiwan Strait — and crossed directly over Kinmen County toward China.
The Chinese Civil Aviation Administration said the flight deviated to avoid inclement weather.
Photo: Chen Yu-fu, Taipei Times
However, the flight had already passed the periphery of the thunderstorm when it deviated toward Kinmen, National Defense University researcher Ma Chen-kun (馬振坤) said, adding that Chinese air traffic control instructed the flight to make the deviation.
Ma made the remarks on Monday at a seminar discussing the outcome of this year’s G7 summit held from Friday to Sunday in Hiroshima.
Under a cross-strait agreement, in the event of inclement weather flights on route M503 normally redirect toward airspace over China before reaching Kinmen, and do not return to the normal flight path until they reach the boundary between China’s Fujian and Guangdong provinces, roughly 200km south of Kinmen, he said.
Beijing has been normalizing military exercises in the Taiwan Strait, and is likely to find excuses to increase inspections of Taiwanese vessels in a bid to expand its maritime jurisdiction, he said.
“This is all part of the gray zone tactics that China has been employing in recent years, which are aimed at reducing the vigilance of Taiwan’s military, and of US forces stationed in Okinawa,” said Kuo Yu-jen (郭育仁), a professor at National Sun Yat-sen University’s Institute of China and Asia-Pacific Studies.
“You can see this in the way China has been blurring the lines between military exercises and mobilization,” Kuo said.
The approach would erode the early warning window ahead of a full-scale Chinese assault on Taiwan, and local forces could find themselves overwhelmed in the event of a surprise attack, he said.
A Keelung high school on Saturday night apologized for using a picture containing a Chinese flag on the cover of the senior yearbook, adding that it has recalled the books and pledged to provide students new ones before graduation on Thursday. Of 309 Affiliated Keelung Maritime Senior High School of National Taiwan Ocean University graduates, 248 had purchased the yearbook. Some students said that the printer committed an outrageous error in including the picture, while others said that nobody would notice such a small flag on the cover. Other students said that they cared more about the photographs of classmates and what was
GOING INTERNATIONAL: Rakuten Girls squad leader Ula Shen said she was surprised that baseball fans outside of Taiwan not only knew of them, but also knew their names Major League Baseball’s (MLB) Oakland Athletics on Saturday hosted its first Taiwanese Heritage Day event at the Oakland Coliseum with a performance by Taiwanese cheerleading squad the Rakuten Girls and a video message from Vice President William Lai (賴清德). The Rakuten Girls, who are the cheerleaders for the CPBL’s Rakuten Monkeys, performed in front of a crowd of more than 2,000 people, followed by a prerecorded address by Lai about Taiwan’s baseball culture and democratic spirit. Taiwanese pitcher Sha Tzu-chen (沙子宸), who was signed by the Athletics earlier this year, was also present. Mizuki Lin (林襄), considered a “baseball cheerleading goddess” by Taiwanese
WAY OF THE RUKAI: ‘Values deemed worthy often exist amid discomfort, so when people go against the flow, nature becomes entwined with our lives,’ a student said “Run, don’t walk” after your dreams, Nvidia cofounder and chief executive officer Jensen Huang (黃仁勳) told National Taiwan University (NTU) graduates yesterday, as several major universities held in-person graduation ceremonies for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic. “What will you create? Whatever it is, run after it. Run, don’t walk. Remember, either you’re running for food, or you are running from becoming food. Oftentimes, you can’t tell which. Either way, run,” he said. Huang was one of several tech executives addressing graduating students at Taiwanese universities. National Chengchi University held two ceremonies, with alumnus Patrick Pan (潘先國), who is head of Taiwan
A 14-legged giant isopod is the highlight of a new dish at a ramen restaurant in Taipei and it has people lining up — both for pictures and for a bite from this bowl of noodles. Since “The Ramen Boy” launched the limited-edition noodle bowl on Monday last week, declaring in a social media post that it had “finally got this dream ingredient,” more than 100 people have joined a waiting list to dine at the restaurant. “It is so attractive because of its appearance — it looks very cute,” said the 37-year-old owner of the restaurant, who wanted to be