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MAC News Reference Material: Explanation on Certain Media Reports and Mainland Scholars Claiming that a "Political Foundation" is a Necessary Precondition to Cross-Strait Negotiations:

  • Date:2018-01-08

January 8, 2018


1. "Aviation safety is paramount; the safety of life is priceless": The acceptance of political objectives should not be used as a threat: Mainland China recently opened the M503 northbound flight route and extension routes unilaterally and without negotiations. We firmly oppose the Mainland's political and military intentions toward Taiwan. Although the said flight routes are located within the Shanghai Flight Information Region (FIR), they are too close to Taiwan's FIR and will have a significant impact on the safety of the Kinmen and Matsu flight routes in Taiwan. Under international civil aviation regulations and the agreement of cross-Strait negotiations in 2015, flight routes should not be opened without prior communication. This matter is entirely unrelated to the controversial political issues between the two sides. It concerns aviation safety and the safety of the lives of the people. 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. Human life is priceless. The other side has a duty to communicate. It cannot shirk responsibility on political pretexts.


2. The Mainland's actions seriously endanger security in the region and the Taiwan Strait; the ruling and opposition parties and international community demand dialogue: East Asia is in a state of dynamic change. Cross-Strait relations are complex and sensitive. Frequent activities by Mainland fighters along the flight route periphery, in addition to the Mainland's recent repeated threats towards Taiwan by military actions, have raised deep concerns among the ruling and opposition parties and in the international community and demands that this matter be properly addressed through communication. In particular, activating a flight route without consultation will affect aviation safety in the surrounding area and the lives and property of international travelers. We believe that 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 international community should face up to and express its serious concerns over this matter. Moreover, the Mainland must bear responsibility for the ensuing risk.


3. Promptly begin technical consultations: The Cross-Strait Air Transport Agreement established a communication mechanism between the two sides. We urge the authorities in Beijing to renounce political manipulation, promptly consult with Taiwan through the 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.