Representative Lin’s letter on Beijing’s unilateral launch of new air routes published in The Times

the Times 3


On 17 January, a letter from Representative Lin concerning Beijing’s pressure on Taiwan was published in The Times, in which the Representative highlighted Beijing’s oppression of Taiwan in the private sector as well as its unilateral decision to launch new flight routes in the Taiwan Strait.

The letter came in response to news which exposed Beijing’s decision to punish private companies for identifying Taiwan as a country. The Representative stated it was deeply regrettable that Beijing is forcing the private sector to shun Taiwan, in addition to its long campaign to exclude it from international participation. ‘These actions are undoubtedly examples of Beijing using political clout to oppress Taiwan and are another affront to our 23 million citizens,’ he wrote.

Representative Lin added Beijing’s attempts to destabilise the Taiwan Strait through unilaterally launching new air routes without consulting Taipei, was even more alarming. Stating the move is changing the status quo in the Taiwan Strait, he said it will threaten regional stability and peace if left unchallenged. The Representative finished urging the international community to be alert to the severe impact of Beijing’s actions and take seriously their implications for aviation safety and regional security.

A separate letter on the same subjects was published in the Financial Times the following day. Tony Phillips, a freelance journalist, criticised Beijing’s inability to deal with issues concerning Taiwan in a reasonable manner. Stressing Beijing’s disregard for the peaceful status quo in the Taiwan Strait and aviation safety, he added that greater awareness of Beijing’s unreasonable behaviour is needed and of the threat that it poses to the norms of civil society and ultimately democracy and the freedom of speech.