CAA to attend ICAO as planned: Transportation Ministry

The Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) will attend a meeting of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) later this month as planned despite the ICAO's refusal to invite Taiwan because of China's objections, the Transportation Ministry said Friday.

Deputy Transportation Minister Wang Kwo-tsai (???) said the CAA will send a delegation to the 39th ICAO assembly, being held from Sept. 27 to Oct. 7 at ICAO headquarters in Montreal, despite not having an invitation to attend.

Taiwan's participation at the event is necessary because the Taipei Flight Information Region (Taipei FIR), which borders the Fukuoka, Manila, Hong Kong and Shanghai FIRs, served 58 million passengers on 1.53 million flights last year, he said.

The delegation, led by CAA Deputy Director Ho Shu-ping (???), will exchange information with professionals from other countries outside the venue, he said.

The ICAO is a U.N. specialized agency responsible for establishing worldwide aviation policies.

In 2013, Taiwan was represented at the 38th ICAO assembly by Shen Chi (??), then-director-general of the Civil Aeronautics Administration, who was invited as a special guest of then-ICAO Council President Roberto Kobeh Gonzalez.

That marked Taipei's first representation at the ICAO assembly since losing its seat in the United Nations to Beijing in 1971.

Cross-Taiwan Strait relations have cooled since President Tsai Ing-wen took office on May 20, and opposition from Beijing is widely believed to be the main reason behind the ICAO's decision not to invite Taiwan this year.

Beijing has taken a harder line against Taiwan because the new administration has not agreed to accepting the idea that Taiwan and China belong to one China as the political foundation for cross-strait dialogue and exchanges.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel