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President calls for Beijing to resolve aviation issue: spokesman

2018/01/19 20:51:28

CNA file photo

Taipei, Jan. 19 (CNA) Taiwan is calling for discussions with Beijing on aviation issues related to its recent unilateral decision to launch a northbound M503 route, Presidential Office spokesman Sidney Lin (林鶴明) said Friday.

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has condemned the move, reiterating that Beijing's unilateral announcement has not only affected aviation safety but also hurt the stability of the region, Lin said.

The president is urging China to start negotiations with Taiwan as soon as possible, in line with an agreement reached by the two sides in 2015, he said.

Beijing was criticized internationally when it first unveiled the M503 southbound route in 2015, and it further angered Taiwan on Jan. 4, 2018 when it unilaterally announced the launch of the M503 northbound route without consulting Taiwan.

The route is only 4.2 nautical miles, or approximately 7.8 km, from the median line of the Taiwan Strait, at its nearest point.

Three Chinese east-west extension routes also introduced on Jan. 4, designated W121, W122 and W123, now overlap with Taiwan's W6, W8 and W2 flight routes serving the outlying islands of Matsu and Kinmen, raising aviation safety concerns.

(By Yeh Su-ping and Ko Lin)
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