Saturday, 21 July, 2018


Air India changes Taiwans name on its website: China welcomes move

Screenshot of Air India international version Screenshot of Air India international version
Bennie Garza | 10 July, 2018, 13:16

The airline has changed its reference to Taiwan on its website to Chinese Taipei; it now refers to Taiwan airport as "Taipei, Taoyuan International Airport, TPE, Chinese Taipei".

The spokesperson said Air India followed the procedure as advised by the Ministry of External Affairs in updating the airline's website with respect to changing name of Taiwan. Air India operates a code-share flight to Taiwan with Air China.

Meanwhile, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Centre in India (TECC), which is seen as the unofficial embassy of Taiwan in India, said it sent a "formal note concerning the change" to the ministry of external affairs, and is "waiting for the MEA's official response".

Air India is the latest airline to bow to pressure from Beijing to distance itself from the island.

Taiwan on Thursday protested against Air India's decision to refer to the country as Chinese Taipei on the carrier's website as demanded by Beijing, news channel Focus Taiwan reported.

The Indian state-owned carrier is the latest to join worldwide airlines in changing the name of the self-governed island after China's civil aviation authority issued a formal communication to them.

In January this year, Marriott International, the hotel chain, was forced to profusely apologise to China after a customer survey listed Tibet and Taiwan as separate countries.

However, Beijing welcomed the decision by Air India, asserting that foreign companies operating in the country must obey China's law and respect its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

"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. According to reports, the Indian government maintains an office as the India-Taipei Association.

China Civil Aviation Authority had in April directed several countries to change the name of Taiwan to Chinese Taipei. In 2017, India hosted a delegation of parliamentarians from Taiwan, prompting a strong reaction from China, whose state media warned India against "playing with fire".

The Global Times, a state-controlled Chinese newspaper, said in an editorial published on Sunday that China should remain calm and not be swayed by what it called the psychological tactics of the United States.

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