U.S. Congressman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) thinks Taiwan should be allowed to join the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), making that Asian country eligible for more of the organization’s safety oversight support. The People’s Republic of China is an established ICAO member state and the latest proposal is controversial because it does not recognize Taiwan as an independent state.
Mainland China is increasing the pressure on Taiwan’s air defenses. Modernized with more than 250 J-11 fighters (Russian or license-built Sukhoi Su-27/30) and 50 Chinese-designed J-10 interceptors, the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) is flying combat air patrols up to the middle of the Taiwan Straits. This has been the unofficial dividing line between China and Taiwan for more than 50 years.