Wednesday, 20 February, 2019

China recognizes Indian airline's website change on Taiwan

Screenshot of Air India international version Screenshot of Air India international version
Melinda Barton | 10 July, 2018, 12:26

Air India has found itself facing criticism after it changed Taiwan's name on its website to "Chinese Taipei".

Air India will now refer to Taiwan as Chinese Taipei, becoming the latest airline that has bowed to pressure from China and change how they refer to the self-ruled country.

The passage through the Taiwan Strait, the first such one by a U.S. Navy ship in about a year, follows a series of Chinese military drills around the island that have stoked tensions between Taipei and Beijing.

Air India does not have any direct flights to "Chinese Taipei", but it has a codeshare with Air China, which is why it is listed on its website.

In a statement TECC "regretted that this move taken by Air India, can be seen as a gesture of succumbing to the unreasonable pressure from China".

TECC Representative Ambassador Chung Kwang Tien calls on Air India to stand up against the unreasonable demand from the government of People's Republic of China and promptly restore the name of "Taiwan" on its official website. Neither Japan Airlines nor ANA has heard a protest from Taiwan, but Japan's broadcaster, NHK, reported that Taiwan's Foreign Ministery Affairs had filed a complaint as a diplomatic mission in Taipei. It underlined that Air India was a "state-owned airline". Air India, after being threatened to be blocked to fly into China, relented immediately.

In April, the Civil Aviation Authority of China had sent out letters to various foreign airlines asking them to change the way Taiwan was referred to in their websites, as per media reports.

The Indian ministries of external affairs as well as civil aviation were not immediately available for comment. Airlines like Air France, Lufthansa, British Airways, Air Canada, Finnair, Malaysian Airlines complied with the request last month.

If foreign enterprises want to do business in China or their products are to enter the Chinese market, they must abide by Chinese laws, Long Xingchun said. China's economic power has caused global airlines including Air France, Lufthansa, British Airways, Air Canada, Finnair, and Malaysia Airlines to identify Taiwan as "Chinese Taipei".

Formulated in 1942, the One China policy can be traced back to the end of the Chinese civil war when defeated nationalist fighters retreated to Taiwan to seek refuge and made it their seat of government.