Air India's Taiwan Decision Consistent With Our Policy: Foreign Ministry

Air India Boeing 787-8

China confirmed that it has approved Air India's decision to refer to Taiwan as "Chinese Taipei" which complies with Beijing's demand. "The decision of Air India is consistent with worldwide norms and our own position on Taiwan since 1949", said spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs Raveesh Kumar.

In April, China's civil aviation administration had written to several global carriers - including American Airlines, Air Canada, British Airways and Lufthansa - demanding the removal of any reference that might suggest that Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau were independent of China. "We approve of that", Lu said.

Though Air India does not have flights to Taipei, it has a code-sharing arrangement with Air China. However, the move by Air India comes a year after India hosted a delegation of Taiwanese legislators that had drawn angry response from China. It underlined that Air India was a "state-owned airline". The companies apologised to China for listing Taiwan and Hong Kong as "countries" on their websites. They point out that the uncertain worldwide order led by the vagaries of U.S. president Donald Trump have forced it to take a much softer line with Beijing.

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Several carriers, including American Airlines, sought a 60-day extension to the initial May 25 deadline, giving the companies until July 25 to make the changes. Had Air India not complied with China's request, the government would likely have forbidden Air India from operating at all in the region. The island nation of Taiwan governs itself democratically, but China considers it an integral part of its territory. It also is the bedrock of Chinese foreign policy, internal policy-making and its diplomacy.

Taiwan government, however, disagrees with this decree. Meanwhile, "victorious" Communists ruled mainland 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. Lufthansa has listed the airport as "Taipei - Taoyuan International TPE Taiwan, China", while British Airways has "Taipei (TPE), Taiwan-China".

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Taiwan has criticized companies for giving in to China's pressure, saying in May that "such acts send a wrong message to the world". This issue and bilateral territorial disputes are different.

China has urged India to support the "one-China policy", something that India has not done in official documents since 2010. "It did not support the separatist movement in Assam province, and hence India should not support the demand for Taiwan independence." the article noted. This is the reason that Taiwanese name Chinese Taipei is used by worldwide organizations.

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