Air India kowtows to Beijing, lists Taiwan as 'Chinese Taipei'

05 July, 2018, 18:19 | Author: Myra Gill
  • Screenshot of Air India international version

However, with regard to Chinese sensitivities about Taiwan, India has always moved carefully.

National carrier Air India has changed the name of Taiwan to "Chinese Taipei" on its website, following instructions from the government, an airline spokesperson said.

China insists that a foreign country can not have official ties with both Beijing and Taipei at the same time.

Air India now offers flights to "Chinese Taipei" where it previously offered flights to Taiwan, according to its website.

Now, Air India describes Taiwan as "Taipei, Taoyuan International Airport, TPE, Chinese Taipei" on its website. "We approve of that".

The Indian ministries of external affairs as well as civil aviation were not immediately available for comment. This is the reason that this destination is listed on Air India website.

In April, the Civil Aviation Authority of China had sent out letters to various foreign airlines asking them to change the way Taiwan was referred to in their websites, as per media reports.


"Respecting China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, abiding by Chinese laws and respecting the feelings of the Chinese people are basic rules to follow for any foreign company operating in China", he said. "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".

"There is only one China in the world and Taiwan is part of China", foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang told reporters. Taiwan has formal diplomatic ties with only a handful of countries.

Beijing opposes any official contact between Taiwan and New Delhi. The de facto Indian embassy in Taipei is the India-Taipei Association and the Taiwanese maintain the Taipei Economic Cultural Centre in New Delhi.

"They argue that India's communiqués with China do not mention or support the one-China policy and Indian leaders did not speak explicitly about this policy; therefore, Indian companies do not have to abide by it", it said.

In recent decades, succumbing to Chinese pressure, both the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank refer to Taiwan as Chinese Taipei, and Taiwan does not appear on the member countries list of either organisation.

What particularly irked China was that an official statement released by Taiwan stated the MoU was signed by "two countries".

Beijing describes the Dalai Lama as a separatist and blames him for inciting protests in the Tibet Autonomous Region.

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