RISKS?A national security official said that the launch of the route would keep PLA air force patrols closer to the Chinese coast, giving Taiwan more response time
Date: Mar 27, 2015
By: Chiu Yen-ling, Tsao Po-yen and Jake Chung / Staff reporters, with staff writer
About 40 members of the Restoration of Taiwan Social Justice group clashed with police
yesterday after staging a surprise protest against a controversial Chinese flight route at the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) offices, calling on MAC Minister Andrew Hsia (夏立言) to step down.
The M503 flight route — which runs close to the median line of the Taiwan Strait and is scheduled to be inaugurated on Sunday — has come under heavy criticism from many in Taiwan.
Critics say that it could endanger national security and that it circumvents legislative oversight.
The route was an arbitrary announcement by China, the group’s chief executive, Lin Yu-lun (林于倫), said, adding that even after negotiations with President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration, Beijing only agreed to move the flight route westward by 6 nautical miles (11km), placing it 10.2 nautical miles from the median line of the Taiwan Strait. [FULL STORY]