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Taiwan protests name change to ‘Chinese Taipei’ on Air India website

/ 05:38 PM July 08, 2018
Air India website screenshot

Screenshot of the Air India website (Photo from The China Post)

TAIPEI, Taiwan – Air India now offers flights to “Taipei, Taoyuan International Airport, TPE, Chinese Taipei” instead of Taiwan, according to its website.

The national airline is the latest to fall in line with China’s demands to drop references to Taiwan as a separate entity.

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In response to the announcement, Taiwan has lodged a protest with Air India and the ministry of foreign affairs and civil aviation in India and has requested that its proper name is restored, the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Meanwhile, China welcomed Air India’s decision to change Taiwan’s name to “Chinese Taipei,” stressing that foreign companies operating in the country must obey China’s law and respect its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

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Since April, China has reached to 44 foreign air carriers, asking them to designate Taiwan as part of China. China’s Civil Aviation Administration has threatened to take “further measures” to deal with those airlines that fail to comply with the request before July 25.

The decision to name Taiwan, “Chinese Taipei” instead of “Taiwan, China” is innovative, however, because this is Taiwan’s official name in international organizations like the Olympic Games, the FIFA, or the World Health Organization.

The term is deliberately ambiguous for the two sides of the Taiwan Strait. To the People’s Republic of China (PRC), “Chinese Taipei” is ambiguous about the political status or sovereignty of Taiwan, while to the Republic of China the term is more inclusive than “Taiwan, China” which might be construed as a subordinate area to the PRC.

Air India does not have flights to Chinese Taipei, it has a codeshare with Air China. This is the reason that this destination is listed on the Air India 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. /atm

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TAGS: Air India website, Chinese Taipei, One China Policy, Taiwan
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