TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – China should talk to Taiwan about the former’s unilateral launch of the contested M503 flight route in the Taiwan Strait, which has caused security concerns on the island, academics in the United States said Wednesday.
Earlier this month, Beijing announced that flights from southern to northern China would immediately begin using the flight path close to the median line in the Taiwan Strait as well as three feeder routes linking cities on the coast with the M503.
Southbound flights already started flying the same route in 2015, but only after negotiations with Taiwan, which sees the latest unilateral move as a threat to its national security, coming on top of recent approaches by Chinese military vessels and aircraft.
Beijing’s unilateral move was unfriendly and not helpful, so it should discuss the matter with Taipei, said Bonnie Glaser of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. She was speaking at a seminar in Washington D.C. organized by the Global Taiwan Institute.
A unilateral declaration of a new flight route would influence and even interfere with the region, the Central News Agency quoted her as saying.
China has already claimed the route is purely a domestic matter and has refused to discuss the matter with Taiwan.
There was no reason for the civil aviation authorities from both sides to continue their relationship and open a dialogue about this particular issue, according to Glaser. She encouraged Taiwan to continue its protests against the actions in order to bring the situation under the attention of the international community.