BEIJING (Reuters) – China said Taiwan should not be so suspicious of its intentions on Wednesday after Taipei protested against Beijing’s decision to open new domestic commercial air routes over the Taiwan Strait which separates the two diplomatic rivals.
The Taiwan Affairs Office of China’s State Council said Taiwan must be “more understanding and less suspicious” of the four routes, state media said. Taiwan said on Tuesday it would step up air surveillance patrols in the Taiwan Strait in response “if necessary”. China deems Taiwan a renegade province and hasn’t ruled out the use of force to take it back, particularly if the island makes a move toward independence. Beijing’s “one China” policy holds that there is only one China and that Taiwan is part of it.
Taiwan’s Ministry of Transportation and Communication said in a statement on its website Tuesday that Beijing’s decision to open the new routes, which go into effect on March 5, was “unilateral” and “not acceptable” and could increase flight safety risks, particularly around Taiwan’s outlying islands of Kinmen and Matsu.