China welcomes Air India's decision to change Taiwan's name on its website

Clay Curtis
July 10, 2018

Earlier on Saturday, Taiwan's Defense Ministry said the ships were moving in a northeastern direction, adding that the situation was in accordance with regulations.

The Indian flag carrier said that it changed Taiwan's name in late June based on a response it received from India's Ministry of External Affairs.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for Air India declined to comment on the issue, saying only that the name change from Taiwan to Chinese Taipei was approved by India's foreign ministry.

Though Air India does not have flights to Taipei, it has a code-sharing arrangement with Air China. It underlined that Air India was a "state-owned airline".

So it seems that India's national carrier, Air India, has caved to China's attempts to strong-arm countries and companies into recognising Taiwan as a part of "One China". On April 25, the Civil Aviation Authority of China had asked global airlines to change how Taiwan is described on their websites within 30 days, the Hindustan Times reported.

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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. The island nation of Taiwan governs itself democratically, but China considers it an integral part of its territory. The letter also spoke of taking action against the airlines if they did not take action according to the letter.

Responding to the move, Taiwanese media slammed India's decision, calling it "kowtowing" to Beijing.

MOFA has also urged the Indian Ministry of External Affairs' International Trade and Civil Aviation department to reject "political meddling by foreign governments in the independent operations of Indian enterprises". In this connection, the MEA spokesperson also noted that a People's Liberation Army (PLA) delegation, led by Lt Gen Liu Xiaowu, was now visiting India. Now, Air India describes Taiwan as "Taipei, Taoyuan Taoyuan International Airport, TPE, Chinese Taipei" on its website.

Taiwan is a democratic island to which then ruling Nationalists fled after they were defeated by the Communists in the civil war in China in 1949. China does not accept Taiwan's independence, so they have instructed worldwide organizations to consider Taiwan as part of China.

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