Air India Renames Taiwan to Chinese Taipei; Accepts One China Policy

Air India Renames Taiwan to Chinese Taipei; Accepts One China Policy

Ambassador Chung Kwang Tien, who heads the Taipei Economic and Cultural Centre (TECC) here, said the change of name on the website of the state-owned carrier might impact freedom of doing business.

"Air India's decision to rename the destination of Taiwan as Chinese Taipei is entirely consistent with global norms, and our own position on Taiwan since 1949", Raveesh Kumar, spokesperson for India's foreign ministry, said Thursday.

Responding to Air India's decision to change the name of Taiwan on its website, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said Beijing welcome the move. Air India has only one direct flight to Shanghai, besides flights to Hong Kong. Since Wednesday, Air India lists Taiwan as "Taipei, Taoyuan International Airport, TPE, Chinese Taipei" on its website. Code sharing allows an airline to book its passengers on its partner carriers and provide seamless travel to destinations where it has no presence.

On 25 April, China's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) sent a letter to 36 foreign airlines, including Air India, pressuring them to stop referring to Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan as independent countries on their websites and marketing materials by 25 May.


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.

Many worldwide airlines, including Air Canada, Singapore Airlines, Emirates and others have submitted to Beijing's demand and changed Taiwan's name on their websites, some of which now directly imply Taiwan is a province of China. Not all countries are happy with the request, as the United States has called it "Orwellian nonsense". 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.

HKFP has contacted Air India for comment.

"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. The Taiwan question is a matter of China's domestic affairs. Neither Japan Airlines nor ANA has heard a protest from Taiwan, but Japan's broadcaster, NHK, reported that Taiwan's Foreign Ministery Affairs had filed a complaint as a diplomatic mission in Taipei.

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