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International relations

Strait denial: Taiwan says no to China using airline routes

Tensions grow as the travel-heavy Lunar New Year approaches

TAIPEI -- Taiwan and China are in a political stalemate over Beijing's plans to introduce new air routes over the Taiwan Strait, as relations between the two deteriorate. Tensions have intensified before the Lunar New Year holiday season.

Taiwan has blocked applications by Chinese airlines to ply these routes which are close to Taiwan's air-defense identification zone, an area that provides an early warning system to help it detect possible incursions into its airspace. Taipei says that China declared the launch of civil aviation services on new routes over the Taiwan Strait earlier this month without giving the island due consultation.

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