It is being reported by Reuters that the China Airlines plane broke up into four parts at 35,000 feet. There were no indications of malfunction by the pilots, and this raises the mystery of other causes. The plane was heading to Hong Kong SAR, and this creates some big legal problems of the Warsaw Convention being made applicable to Taiwan.
Taiwan crashes have been made applicable to the Convention under a clause of being just a transit point between two legs of a journey between two Higher Contracting States. In the past, Hong Kong was British, thus the Warsaw Convention had no China sovereignty issues. Given the way this has been handled in the recent past like SGP 006 being “between” Singapore and Los Angeles, there is a lurking problem of the Taiwan status under the Warsaw Convention and its Hong Kong SAR destination. The mysterious nature of the China Airlines crash further compounds this issue, if it is ever clearly determined to be a friends of Al Quada incident.