India Abroad

Bending To China's Pressure, Air India Joins Other Airlines In Renaming Taiwan As Chinese Taipei

| July 5 , 2018 , 09:47 IST

China has been known to pressurise the international community to consider and refer to Taiwan as a part of China and not an independent nation. India's national carrier Air India, under pressure from China has joined several other airlines in listing Taiwan as 'Chinese Taipei' in its travel guidelines, as wanted by China.

Apart from Air India, other airlines including Delta Airlines, Qantas, Singapore Airlines, Japan Airlines and Air Canada have also changed the name of Taiwan to Chinese Taipei, which is what China wants Taiwan to be known as officially.

Civil Aviation Authority of China (CAAC) had on April 25 directed several international airlines to stop referring to Taiwan as a separate country on their website. As per the "One China" policy, Beijing considers Taiwan to be a province of China.

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A spokesperson of Air India said that the change in name of Taiwan was made with the approval of the Ministry of External Affairs.

“There was a mail to the regional manager in Hong Kong from China Registry, MEA, Government of India, wherein they have approved the nomenclatures to be used by Air India on its website in respect of Hong Kong SAR (Special Administrative Region) of China, Macau SAR of China and Chinese Taipei,” the spokesperson said.

After the CAAC sent the letter regarding change of name of Taiwan to foreign airlines, Chinese Daily Global Times warned that airlines that didn't comply would be thrown out of China.

“If foreign enterprises want to do business in China or their products are to enter the Chinese market, they must abide by Chinese laws,” the Global Times said in a report.

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“But if they refuse to make corrections when reminded, they are obviously supporting Taiwan independence and must face possible consequences or could even be thrown out of the Chinese market,” it added.

The Chinese media report also mentioned Air India specifically.

“That Air India lists Taiwan as a country goes against India’s official stance. Recognising that there is only one China in the world, that the government of the People’s Republic of China is the only legitimate government representing all of China, and that Taiwan is an inalienable part of Chinese territory is the condition on which China establishes diplomatic ties with all countries,” it said.

“The Taiwan question is a matter of China’s domestic affairs…China respects India’s territorial integrity. It did not support the separatist movement in Assam province, and hence India should not support the demand for Taiwan independence,” the report said.