Deeply disappointed over Air Indias move Taiwan

Air India accedes to Beijing’s demand renames Taiwan ‘Chinese Taipei’ on its website

Indranil Mukherjee AFP

India's national carrier Air India was forced to change "Taiwan" to "Chinese Taipei" after Chinese authorities demanded them to no longer refer to Taiwan as a separate region on their websites.

"TECC is deeply disappointed with Air India changing "Taiwan" into "Chinese Taipei" on its website and regrets that this move taken by Air India, a state-owned airline, can be seen as a gesture of succumbing to the unreasonable and absurd pressure from China", said Ambassador Chung in a press release.

Until some time ago, Air India on its website called the island as Taiwan, which China considers a breakaway province and has vowed to unite it with mainland someday.

While Air India did not comment on the matter Wednesday, sources said that China had not raised the issue with the Ministry of External Affairs.

Air India is the flag carrier of India and operates a flight to Taipei made possible through a code-share agreement with EVA Airways Corp.

A spokesperson said AI followed procedure as advised by MEA in updating airline's website with respect to changing name of Taiwan.

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Air India has change the name of Taiwan after being directed by the Indian government.

China praised Air India's decision on Thursday.

"That Air India lists Taiwan as a country goes against India's official stance", it stated.

The Chinese Civil Aviation Administration on April 25 sent a letter to 44 global airlines requesting that they change references to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau on their Web sites and in other company materials within 30 days, or suffer repercussions for "serious discreditable conduct". However, the Modi government used to be proud of declaring that they had told off China on India's "one-China" policy, by saying they would support it only when China supported a "one-India" policy. China has claimed sovereignty over Taiwan since the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949, when the defeated Nationalist government fled to the island.

The United States and Australia have also slammed China's pressure on companies. China has requested that many influential companies from around the world such as Mercedes-Benz, Zara, Marriott, and GAP identify Taiwan, Tibet, Hong Kong, and Macau as part 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, Long Xingchun said.

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