søndag 21. januar 2018

Airliners Have Become China’s Newest Means of Pressuring Taiwan

China has ratcheted up the pressure on Taiwan, an island democracy that it views as a breakaway province, by deploying a new tool: civilian airliners. Earlier this month, China announced that it has opened a new air route that will allow its commercial airliners to fly northward up the center of the narrow strait separating it from Taiwan, which sits 100 miles off China’s coast. Taiwan immediately criticized the new route, calling it a security and safety risk because it runs close to air space used by Taiwanese airliners and military aircraft.

China says the new air corridor, called M503, is needed to alleviate congestion in China’s already overcrowded skies. Taiwan has called the move a provocation aimed putting additional pressure on the administration of Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, whose party has advocated independence for Taiwan, a self-governing island of 23 million residents.