Published: Tue, July 10, 2018

Air India's decision on Taiwan consistent with norms: Centre

Air India's decision on Taiwan consistent with norms: Centre

Taiwan is now Chinese Taipei on Air India's website.

Until some time ago, Air India on its website called the island as Taiwan, which China considers a breakaway province and has vowed to unite it with mainland someday. The airline does not have any direct flight to Taiwan, but it has a code share with Air China, which flies to Taiwan. This is the reason that this destination is listed on the Air India website.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taiwan has lodged a protest against Air India over its decision to change the country's flight destinations from Taiwan to "Chinese Taipei". "We approve of that".

India's government downplayed suggestions it had bowed to Chinese pressure, which has already seen airlines such as Air Canada and Australia's Qantas agree to change their descriptions.

Responding to the move, Taiwanese media slammed India's decision, calling it "kowtowing" to Beijing. In a statement, TECC asked the airlines to promptly restore "Taiwan" on its website. Now, Air India describes Taiwan as "Taipei, Taoyuan Taoyuan International Airport, TPE, Chinese Taipei" on its website.

Earlier on Saturday, Taiwan's Defense Ministry said the ships were moving in a northeastern direction, adding that the situation was in accordance with regulations.

Under such pressure, many global airlines, including Air Canada, Turkish Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Emirates and Scoot, have made the change. In fact, this list extends beyond only airlines.

Yesterday's decision comes as the government has gone the extra mile to make nice with China in the past few months, raising questions about whether India had compromised its traditional positions.

Washington has no formal ties with Taiwan but is bound by law to help it defend itself and is the island's main source of arms.

MOFA has also urged the Indian Ministry of External Affairs' International Trade and Civil Aviation department to reject "political meddling by foreign governments in the independent operations of Indian enterprises".

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. India's national airline is the latest to fall in line. Air India, Japan Airline and All Nippon Airlines have only recently made adjustments.

The United States and Australia have also slammed China's pressure on companies.

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