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China yet to determine launch date for new flight route

China yet to determine launch date for new flight route

Shanghai, March 3 (CNA) China has not set a date for the launch of a new flight route that hugs the median line of the Taiwan Strait, with a Chinese aviation official saying Tuesday that it will depend on the results of test flights and communication with Taiwan. China is displaying "maximum goodwill" to Taiwan by agreeing to delay the implementation of the north-south M503 flight route, said Che Jinjun (???), director-general of the Air Traffic Management Bureau of the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). Che made the remarks to Taiwanese reporters at the CAAC's Shanghai area control center that day. Che said the new route is planned in order to meet flight demands in eastern China. The International Civil Aviation Organization has also requested the new route because it will greatly benefit the international community, he said. Ma Xiaoguang (???), spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office under China's State Council, urged Taiwan Tuesday not to politicize the planned new flight route. There are no military considerations, Ma said. Taiwan's Civil Aviation Administration (CAA) said a day earlier that it has reached an initial consensus with China to delay the implementation of the M503 flight route and three east-west routes -- W121, W122 and W123 -- that are connected to the M503 route. The CAA also said that if China implements the route in the future, it will move the route 6 nautical miles further west from its original course which is 4.2 nautical miles west of the median line of the Taiwan Strait. Taiwan voiced opposition to the new routes, announced unilaterally by China in January, because of fears that they could compromise aviation safety in the region and infringe on the country's sovereignty. (By Feng Chao and Christie Chen)


Updated : 2021-09-22 15:40 GMT+08:00