MAC urges Beijing to put aviation safety ahead of politics, communicate with Taipei


The MAC is calling on mainland China not to endanger the lives of air travelers and enter into negotiations with Taiwan over the M503 northbound flight and extensions routes. (Courtesy of MAC)

Beijing must put aviation safety ahead of controversial cross-strait political issues and promptly consult with Taipei over its recent unilateral opening of the M503 northbound flight and extension routes, according to the Mainland Affairs Council.
“The safety of life is priceless and the acceptance of political objectives should not be used as a threat,” the MAC said Jan. 8. “The other side has a duty to communicate and cannot shirk responsibility on political pretexts.”
According to the MAC, although the routes are located within the Shanghai Flight Information Region, they are too close to the Taipei FIR and will significantly impact the safe operation of those between Taiwan proper and outlying Kinmen and Matsu. Under international civil aviation regulations and an agreement between the two sides in March 2015, the routes should not be opened without prior communication.
“This matter … concerns aviation safety and the safety of the lives of the people,” the MAC said. “Taiwan’s protest and demand for communication are absolutely warranted, particularly at this time when mainland China has clear political and military intentions toward Taiwan.”
Mainland China’s actions seriously endanger cross-strait and regional security, and Taiwan’s ruling and opposition parties—as well as the international community—demand dialogue, according to the MAC.
“Protecting the people’s well-being and safety of life is a paramount value across borders. Making communication conditional on acceptance of so-called political preconditions completely disregards the rights and interests of travelers.”
The MAC said Beijing should renounce political manipulation, promptly consult with Taiwan through existing interaction mechanisms and channels, resolve aviation safety related issues, protect the safety and life of travelers, and jointly maintain peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and the region. (JSM)