The Taiwanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday instructed the Taipei Economic and Cultural Center in India to lobby New Delhi to remove “Chinese Taipei” from the destination airport name of Taoyuan International Airport, Taipei from Air India’s flight booking website.
Expressing deep concern over Air India becoming the latest international airline to ‘abandon Taiwan as a nation’ by adding “Chinese Taipei” for flights to its capital, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs demanded that the relevant Indian government agencies support corporations facing pressure from Beijing, ministry spokesman Andrew Lee said at a news conference in Taipei yesterday.
“The ministry once again calls on the international community to stand up to the Chinese government’s abuse of political power and its peremptory measures with inappropriate intentions to meddle in the independent operations of enterprises in various countries,” Lee said, Taipei Times reported.
Air India is the flag carrier of India and operates a flight to Taipei made possible through a code-share agreement with EVA Airways Corp.
The Times of India yesterday quoted an Air India spokesperson as saying that the carrier was following instructions from the Indian Ministry of External Affairs to change Taiwan to “Chinese Taipei” on its Web site.
The Chinese Civil Aviation Administration on April 25 sent a letter to 44 international airlines requesting that they change references to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau on their Web sites and in other company materials within 30 days, or suffer repercussions for “serious discreditable conduct.”
More than 20 airlines have since changed their listings of Taiwan to “Chinese Taipei” or “Taipei, CN,” including British Airways, Lufthansa, Japan Airlines, Delta Airlines, Qantas and Air Canada, while others have requested an extension until July 25.
China has slapped fines on global retailers for recognizing Taiwan as a nation, including a 200,000 yuan (US$30,147) penalty on Japanese retailer Muji in April.