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China Moves Civilian Flight Closer to Mainland-Taiwan Median Line

A flight path first established in 2015 to allow for increased air traffic along the eastern part of China has been adjusted, bringing the route closer to the “median line” between Taiwan and mainland China. The original route was moved westward by mainland authorities in consultation with Taiwan, then under the leadership of Ma Ying-jeou. But that accommodation has been reversed, and flights will use the originally defined route.

The move has drawn protests from Taiwanese authorities as “disregard[ing] aviation safety and show[ing] disrespect for Taiwan,” reports Global Times. Taiwanese officials have denied applications for increased air traffic from the mainland for the occasion of the Lunar New Year, which occurs this year on Feb. 16.

Taiwan has also objected to the beginning of east-bound flights to the air corridor from cities along the Chinese mainland, which could look like potential invasion forces and create a cost to Taiwan’s defense forces through being on alert more often.