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U.S. notes inaccuracies in Chinese statement over new air routes

Washington, Jan. 20 (CNA) The U.S. Department of State said Wednesday that it has noted inaccuracies in a statement made Jan. 15 by China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding new air routes in the Taiwan Strait, and urged China to engage and consult with the parties affected to ensure air safety in the region. Hong Lei (??), a spokesman for China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated Jan. 15 that the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) had conducted an air safety assessment with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration in 2007 and that the new air route had since received approval and had been assigned flight codes by the International Civil Aviation Organization. "The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not conducted an independent safety assessment for the newly proposed air routes, nor has it conducted a joint safety assessment with the CAAC on these air routes." the state department told CNA. "The U.S. has shared with China information about how it implements new air routes." said the State Department. The use of the word "urge" was deemed by the Taiwanese government as a shift to a firmer stance toward China on the matter by the State Department, which had previously used the word "encourage." However, on whether Daniel Russel, assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs had raised the issue during a recent meeting with Chinese Ambassador to the U.S. Cui Tiankai, the State Department said it does not comment on the substance of U.S. diplomatic discussions. (By Rita Cheng and Ted Chen)

Updated : 2021-09-23 01:15 GMT+08:00