Wednesday, 25 July 2018

American Airlines, Delta and Cathay Pacific bow to China Taiwan pressure

American Airlines, Delta and Cathay Pacific have become the latest carriers to change how they refer to Taiwan online, bowing to pressure from China.

Beijing set 25 July as a deadline for companies and airlines to remove references to Taiwan as anything but a Chinese territory on their websites.

The US carriers just lists Taipei, but Cathay refers to it as part of China.

Taiwan has been self-ruling since 1949 but China regards it as a breakaway province to be reunited one day.

The move was dismissed by the White House in May as "Orwellian nonsense", but many global carriers including Lufthansa, Air France-KLM and Qantas decided to comply with the demand coming out of one of the world's biggest aviation markets.
A number of US airlines, however, held out and currently United Airlines continues to list the city of Taipei as being in "TW" on their website.

American Airlines spokeswoman Shannon Gilson told the BBC in an email response: "Like other carriers, American is implementing changes to address China's request. Air travel is global business, and we abide by the rules in countries where we operate".

Cathay Pacific told the BBC in a statement the carrier was a registered airline "of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) of the People's Republic of China. HKSAR is also where our operations are based. We must comply with the regulations and requirements of the relevant civil aviation authorities."

The issue has always been highly sensitive for Beijing, but in recent years it has become increasingly active in clamping down on perceived violations of its territorial claims.

BBC      News.

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