China welcomes Air India’s decision to change Taiwan’s name

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Ambassador Chung Kwang Tien, who heads the Taipei Economic and Cultural Centre (TECC) here, said the change of name on the website of the state-owned carrier might impact freedom of doing business.

Taiwan on Thursday lodged protests with India following state-run Air India's decision to change Taiwan into Chinese Taipei on its website and described it as succumbing to China's pressure.

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

Air India operates flights to two destinations in China region - Shanghai and Hong Kong. As a result, Taipei's Taoyuan International Airport is listed on Air India's website under "Chinese Taipei".

The Indian state-owned carrier is the latest to join global airlines in changing the name of the self-governed island after China's civil aviation authority issued a formal communication to them.

Several worldwide airlines stopped referring to Taiwan as a separate country since China had objection to it in April.

Under its "One China" policy, Beijing considers Taiwan its province and opposes ties between Taipei and other capitals.

However, Beijing welcomed the decision by Air India, asserting that foreign companies operating in the country must obey China's law and respect its sovereignty and territorial integrity. Although the deadline has been extended to July 25, China's Civil Aviation Administration has threatened to take "further measures" to deal with those airlines that fail to comply with the request.

Responding to the move, Taiwanese media slammed India's decision, calling it "kowtowing" to Beijing. In 2016, a delegation of Indian MPs had visited Taiwan.

In summary, China's Civil Aviation Authority has sent a letter to 36 foreign airlines on April 25, 2018, asking them to identify Taiwan as a part of China and not a sovereign country.

Flags of Taiwan and U.S. are placed for a meeting between U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce speaks and with Su Chia-chyuan, President of the Legislative Yuan in Taipei, Taiwan March 27, 2018. The US had rubbished China's instructions, with the White House saying it was nothing more than "this is Orwellian nonsense and part of a growing trend by the Chinese Communist Party to impose its political views on American citizens and private companies".