China’s announcement and implementation of a unilateral flight route adjustment to flightpaths M503 southbound and W122 and W123 eastbound are strongly condemned by the government and people of Taiwan, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Jan. 31.
Without holding prior consultations with Taiwan in accordance with International Civil Aviation Organization regulations, the decision made by the Civil Aviation Administration of China Jan. 30 in effect revokes the 2015 cross-strait agreement, the MOFA said. It not only seriously jeopardizes aviation safety, peace, and stability in the region but also undermines mutual trust and the Taiwan Strait status quo, the ministry added.
According to the MOFA, Section 4.2.6 of ICAO’s Air Traffic Services Planning Manual stipulates that changes to any route network should be made only after they have been coordinated with all parties concerned. In this case, Taiwan’s Civil Aviation Administration is the sole competent authority for the Taipei Flight Information Region, which lies next to the M503 flightpath, the ministry said, adding that China’s lack of prior consultation violates ICAO regulations and underscores its irresponsible authoritarian nature.
This heavy-handed and unreasonable act by China, as well as its almost daily surveillance balloon flights into Taiwan’s airspace since the presidential election, signify an attempted change to the cross-strait status quo, the MOFA said. The ministry calls on the international community to pay close attention to the situation and collectively demand that China promptly negotiate with Taiwan to manage potential aviation risks, otherwise it must bear full responsibility for any negative consequences. (YCH-E)
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