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Taiwan detects flights using new Chinese controversial flight path

Taiwan detects flights using new Chinese controversial flight path

Taipei, March 29 (CNA) Taiwan detected 15 flights as of Sunday afternoon using China's newly opened M503 flight route that is seen as a threat to Taiwan's security and aviation safety. Most of the flights using the flight path up to 4 p.m. were flying from Pudong Airport in Shanghai to Hong Kong, Taiwan's Civil Aeronautics Administration said. It also recorded one flight from Qingdao in Shandong Province to Hong Kong, one from Pudong Airport to Kuala Lumpur, and one from Dalian in Liaoning Province to Hong Kong, the agency said. China's Civil Aviation Administration said the M503 route was officially inaugurated at midnight Saturday, and that the first flight on the new route, Dragonair (????) Flight 857 that took off in Shanghai, made a smooth landing in Hong Kong. "A total of 33 flights will use the route during the day," the Chinese authority said. A report by China's state-run Xinhua News Agency said on Sunday that under the Civil Aviation Administration's plan, flights on the M503 route will be limited to the Shanghai Flight Information Region, and the number of flights will initially be limited to 33. Taiwan has strongly objected to the new north-south flight path, which runs close to the median line of the Taiwan Strait dividing Taiwanese and Chinese airspace, describing it as a threat to commercial flights in Taiwan's airspace and to the country's security and sovereignty. Taiwanese authorities tried to get China to cancel the route that it unilaterally declared, but Beijing only agreed to move M503 six nautical miles to the west of its original path and cancel plans for four east-west routes running off M503. Chinese authorities have asked for Taiwan's understanding, saying the new route is needed to alleviate traffic congestion created by strong demand for air travel in coastal Chinese regions. Several airlines beyond Dragonair have applied for permission to use the new route, including Air China (??????), China Eastern Airlines (??????), Shanghai Airlines (????), Malaysia Airlines, Philippine Airlines, and United Airlines. (By Zep Hu and Elizabeth Hsu)


Updated : 2021-09-28 12:56 GMT+08:00