* In a surprise announcement on January 12, Beijing imposed four new flight routes--M503, W121, W122, and W123--that, Taipei believed, would threaten flight safety in Taiwan.
* Expectedly Taiwan's Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) and Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) voiced strong objection to China's unilateral decision to implement the new flight routes, starting from March 5, 2015.
* As cross-Strait relations are still reeling from the aftermath of ruling Kuomintang's (KMT) embarrassing electoral defeat last November 29, Beijing's decision on the new flight routes isn't helpful. Other than complete surprise, few in Taiwan could offer plausible reasons for Beijing to do what it did at this point in time.
* At the minimum, this unilateral decision will further erode the momentum behind President Ma Ying-jeou's engagement policy toward China, and it would give the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legitimate grounds to challenge future attempts at reconciliation with a not-so-friendly neighbor across the Taiwan Strait.