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MOFA strongly condemns China’s unilateral announcement of M503 southbound flight route adjustment and W122 and W123 eastbound flight route activation

  • Date:2024-01-31
  • Data Source:Department of International Organizations

January 31, 2024
Press Release No. 048

Without holding prior consultations with Taiwan in accordance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) regulations, the Civil Aviation Administration of China made a unilateral announcement on January 30 in effect revoking the 2015 cross-strait agreement on the M503, W122, and W123 flight routes. This not only seriously jeopardizes aviation safety, peace, and stability in the region but also undermines mutual trust and the status quo across the Taiwan Strait. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) condemns China in the strongest terms and demands that it immediately engage Taiwan in negotiations.

Section 4.2.6 of ICAO’s Air Traffic Services Planning Manual stipulates that changes to any route network should be made only after they have been coordinated with all parties concerned. Taiwan’s Civil Aviation Administration is the sole competent authority for the Taipei Flight Information Region, which lies next to the M503 route. China’s announcement changing a related route network without prior consultations with Taiwan constitutes a serious violation of ICAO regulations and underscores China’s irresponsible authoritarian nature.


This heavy-handed and unreasonable act by China, as well as its virtually daily flying of surveillance balloons into Taiwan’s airspace since Taiwan’s presidential election, have gravely impacted regional aviation safety and cross-strait peace and stability, signifying a change to the status quo across the Taiwan Strait. MOFA urges the international community to pay due attention to this matter and jointly demand that China promptly negotiate with Taiwan on the activation of these new flight routes. If it does not negotiate to manage potential aviation risks, China must bear full responsibility. (E)