- GOP hopes taking shutdown off the table with budget deal will pay dividends
- Chinese Death Star: The moon cited as the perfect launch pad for ballistic missiles
- Help wanted: Homeland Security plagued by vacancies at the top
- We are not amused: Queen’s protection officers warned to keep ‘sticky fingers’ off the royal cashews
- Unleash the crossbows: Gov. Scott Walker creates new hunting season
- Bubonic plague kills 20 in Madagascar
- G-20 diplomats fell for hacker attack promising nude photos of former French first lady Carla Bruni
- Minnesota guardsman charged with stealing private soldier data for fake IDs
- Florida appeals court rules universities can’t regulate guns
- Vladimir Putin defends Russian conservative values
Inside China: No airspace for holiday travel
More than 1 billion Chinese passengers will jam China’s highways, railways and airlines in the weeks before and after Feb. 10, New Year's Day. Travelers will visit their ancestral homes to celebrate the “Year of the Snake” and then go back to work.
Though more expensive, flying has become an increasingly popular means of travel for many Chinese. As a result, all of China’s airlines are facing a severe shortage of seats during the biggest holiday of the year.
It was welcome news for millions of eager passengers when Chinese Central TV, one of the most authoritative voices of the Chinese communist government, announced Jan. 27 that the air force flight-control administration had decided to temporarily open 122 military air routes to civil aviation during the Chinese New Year heavy travel season.
The announcement also stated that, in order to make this happen, all air force routine training flights would be canceled so the estimated 20,000 passenger flights during the holiday period could use the expanded air space to carry passengers home and back.
But that announcement apparently touched some sensitive nerves inside the military’s high command, because it would imply a lax level of air-defense vigilance if all routine training flights were canceled.
“The PLA Air Force resolutely serves the strategic consideration of the Chinese Communist Party and our state,” the Xinhua reversal stated. “The PLA Air Force wholeheartedly serves the people and conducts flight training with utmost rigor and seriousness in order to unswervingly safeguard the airspace of our motherland.”
The unusual public on-again, off-again statements are an indication that heads likely will roll somewhere in the air force as a result of the faux pas.
Taiwan’s awkward position
In fact, when the United States returned the islands to Japanese administration in 1972, the U.S. government was walking a diplomatic tightrope between Japan and Taiwan, not necessarily between Tokyo and Beijing.
Therefore, for Taiwan to stress its claim over the Senkakus, which are called Diaoyutai in Taiwan, has a twofold diplomatic importance: It is an effort to bring back the 1972 status quo, when Taiwan was still officially and diplomatically recognized by the United States and most nations in the world as the only legitimate government of all China.
Taiwan’s claim is also a delicate way of expressing the steadfast position of President Ma Ying-jeou in establishing a closer relationship with China to prevent a resumption of China’s military threats as seen in the mid-1990s.
About the Author
Miles Yu’s column appears Thursdays. He can be reached at email@example.com.
By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
- Obama's Afghanistan experts stumped on U.S. death toll, war costs during hearing
- Inside China: Ukraine gets nuke umbrella
- NAPOLITANO: A conspiracy so vast
- North Korean dictator stuns world with uncle's execution
- CHELLANEY: China's game of chicken
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- Comma on!: Twitter erupts over Obama-Castro 'marriage'
- 80 people publicly executed across North Korea for films, Bibles
- Inside the Ring: China targets Global Hawk drone
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Consummate traveler Todd DeFeo explores the unique stories that make destinations worth going to.
Covering the world of soccer, including the World Cup, Major League Soccer, D.C. United and the English Premier League and other interesting sporting events.
Born in 1930 in rural Missouri, Charles Vandegriffe, Sr., brings his time and place to the Communities.
Columns from Voices around the World talking about the events, people, politics and social issues that concern us wherever, and whoever, we are.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow