DHARAMSALA, July 25: Airlines in America have ceded to Chinese pressure and become the latest carriers to change how their websites refer to Taiwanese airports.
American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines; the three biggest U.S. airlines have given in to Chinese pressure and changed how they refer to self-ruled Taiwan on their websites according to various media reports.
The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has sent a letter to 36 foreign air carriers earlier this year and demanded airlines to stop referring to Taiwan as anything other than a Chinese territory online by July 25.
The websites of American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines now all list the airport in Taipei—the Taiwanese capital—with its code and city, but not with the name Taiwan before the July 25, deadline given by Beijing in an effort to avoid Chinese penalties according to media reports.
The White Huse has reportedly described the measure as “Orwellian nonsense” in May and The Trump administration is said to have urged U.S. carriers to resist the pressure from the Chinese government while it attempts to intercede but to no avail, China has declined U. S’s request for talks about the issue.
Hence, the U.S. airlines updated their booking websites on Wednesday, meeting the deadline set by China, but stopped short of expressly referring to the self-governing island as part of China.
The American carriers previously referred to the Taiwan capital as ‘TPE, Taiwan’ in its list of destinations, but now lists ‘TPE — Taoyuan International,’ a reference to Taipei’s main airport, reports the wall street journal.
Taiwan’s foreign ministry has previously condemned the Chinese government for attempting to ‘crudely and unreasonably interfere with private commercial activity and international companies’ operations.’
Beijing considers Taiwan as an errant province and never shied away from using force to bring it under its control.
Apart from America, many airlines, including Air Canada, British Airways and Deutsche Lufthansa AG, Air India, Hong Kong Airlines had already made changes to their websites,