THE TAIWANESE government criticized China for adjusting its flight path close to the median line of the Taiwan Strait on January 30, 2024. The Taipei Economic and Trade Office in Indonesia assessed that this step was carried out unilaterally and therefore violated the rules of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

Apart from violating the rules, Taipei also said Beijing’s actions had a serious impact on aviation safety in the Asia-Pacific region and peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, as well as weakening the status quo and the foundation of mutual trust in the Taiwan Strait.

“We strongly condemn China’s irresponsible actions and call on Indonesia and the international community to jointly urge China to immediately hold negotiations with Taiwan regarding this case,” the office said in a statement Wednesday, (02/07), 2024.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) on Tuesday, January 30 announced the cancellation of the “offsetting” of the southbound M503 flight path, which is located just west of the Taiwan Strait median line.

The median line functions as an unofficial barrier between China and Taiwan, over which China claims sovereignty. However, China says it does not recognize the existence of the area, and Chinese warplanes now frequently fly over it.

CAAC also announced the opening of routes from west to east, meaning towards Taiwan, on two flight routes W122 and W123. Both lines connect the M503 to the Chinese cities of Xiamen and Fuzhou, which are close to the Taiwan-controlled Kinmen and Matsu Island groups.

“This is a serious violation of ICAO regulations and underscores China’s irresponsible authoritarian nature,” said the Taipei Economic and Trade Office in Indonesia.

The office said peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait is closely related to Indonesia’s core economic and trade interests as well as the protection of Indonesian citizens.

“The Taipei Economic and Trade Office in Indonesia calls on Indonesian industry, government, academics, research and media to take this seriously and jointly urge China to negotiate with Taiwan to manage potential aviation risks,” they concluded. [sources/photo special]