• Kyodo

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A ranking Taiwan transport official on Thursday reiterated opposition to China’s planned corridors for commercial flights above the Taiwan Strait, suggesting the use of military planes for interception after the new airspace is implemented.

Tseng Dar-jen, deputy transportation minister, said Taiwan would warn with military planes if necessary after the new routes are opened for use. China is planning to put its new civil aviation routes into force March 5 as scheduled.

While China has indicated that it would move the corridors closer to the mainland than its original plan, Tseng said there have been no consultations with neighboring countries and the plan is unacceptable.

China announced the new routes Jan. 12, citing increased traffic on existing air routes within the mainland. Beijing is planning to have flights to and from eastern and southern cities such as Shanghai, Hong Kong and Xiamen use the new routes over the strait instead.

Taiwan has been protesting the move, saying it would threaten the safety of flights on routes linking Taiwan and outlying islands near the mainland.

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