china easternTwo Chinese airlines; China Eastern Airlines (CEA) and Xiamen Airlines are cancelling flights to Taiwan next month amid a worsening impasse between Beijing and Taipei over flight routes in the Taiwan Strait.

Back in 2015, the two countries agreed that Beijing would consult Taipei before commencing new flights in the area. A recent decision by Beijing to launch new civilian flights over the Taiwan Strait has contributed to those concerns.

The modification of the flight routes by China in early January has drawn a sharp response from officials in Taiwan.

China Eastern Airlines said it had canceled 212 flights between mainland China and Taiwan that it had previously planned for the holiday period. The cancellation of flights is expected to affect tens of thousands of Taiwanese nationals returning from China to see their families over the Lunar New Year period.