Taiwan’s transport ministry said Wednesday China has set up a brief no-fly zone north of the island for April 16 due to “space activities”.

The closure comes after Beijing completed three days of massive war games around Taiwan that saw it simulate targeted strikes and practise a blockade of the island.

An aerial view of northern Taiwan. Photo: Wikicommons.
An aerial view of northern Taiwan. Photo: Wikicommons.

The no-fly zone does not appear to be linked to the drills, with Taiwan’s transport ministry saying China had imposed the restriction “on the convergence areas of many international routes to restrict flights on the grounds of ‘space activities'”.

The restrictions will be in place for just 27 minutes from 9:30 am to 9:57 am (0130 to 0157 GMT) on Sunday.

The transport ministry added that China had initially announced a three-day closure but revised it following objections from Taipei.

The ministry had informed China that “this unreasonable designation will bring huge and unnecessary flight risks to the region, and damage the rights and interests of international aviation,” it added.

Japan’s top government spokesperson had earlier said his government had also been notified of the three-day no-fly zone.

“Chinese authorities notified us of the designation of an area that may affect the safety of aircraft flights for aerospace activities from April 16 to 18,” Hirokazu Matsuno said.

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