Chinese mainland denounces Taiwan's rejection of extra flights
By Chen Xieyuan
The Chinese mainland has criticized Taiwan for rejecting extra flights during the Spring Festival.
Taiwan civil aviation authorities have said no to 176 extra cross-Strait flights during the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday next month.
Gu Min, president of the Chinese Culture Academic Research Foundation in Taipei says Taiwan’s decision is a real surprise, as the prevention of additional flights will affect about 50,000 people who would travel across the Strait during the long vacation.
Taiwan authorities said the rejection was made out of security concerns over the newly-opened routes like M-503, one of the routes used by flights between Taiwan and the mainland.
In response, China's Civil Aviation Administration said Taiwan authorities are making excuses to undermine the operation of Chinese airlines and should respect people's demands for cross-Strait travel.
Zhong Houtao, a research associate at the Taiwan Studies Institute of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences said Taiwan authorities’ decision is hurting peaceful development across the Taiwan Strait.
More and more people from Taiwan have been settling in the Chinese mainland in recent years.
A report last year said about 350-thousand people from Taiwan work on the Chinese mainland.
For its part, the mainland has approved Taiwan airlines' application to open more than 600 extra flights during the holiday.