Taiwan protests Air India move to change name to Chinese Taipei

Air India Boeing 787-8

Air India Boeing 787-8

Air India, India's national carrier, recently changed the designation of "Taiwan" to "Chinese Taipei" on its website.

"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.

As per China's "One China Policy", regions such as Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Tibet are considered provinces of China and are not thought of as separate, independent states.

Air India confirmed to local media that the name change was approved by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs.

Air India operates flights to two destinations in China region - Shanghai and Hong Kong.

China has been taking foreign companies to task over the way they refer to self-governed Taiwan, which China considers an integral part of its territory.

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TECC Representative Ambassador Chung Kwang Tien calls on Air India to stand up against the unreasonable demand from the government of People's Republic of China and promptly restore the name of "Taiwan" on its official website. Now, Air India describes Taiwan as "Taipei, Taoyuan Taoyuan International Airport, TPE, Chinese Taipei" on its website.

Immediately after the MEA clarification, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Centre in India (TECC) lodged a formal complaint with the MEA.

"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 Indian Express reported that China had not raised the issue with the Ministry of External Affairs. The Civil Aviation Authority of China (CAAC) directed several worldwide airlines on 25 April to stop referring to Taiwan as a separate country. Airlines like Air France, Lufthansa, British Airways, Air Canada, Finnair, Malaysian Airlines complied with the request last month.

Former Taiwan Vice President Lien Chan, of Taiwan's pro-China and former ruling Nationalist Party, is scheduled to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing next week. The United States termed the demand "Orwellian nonsense" in May.

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. The Taiwan question is a matter of China's domestic affairs.

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