Major US airlines caved to China’s demand to change how they list Taiwan as an independent country on their booking websites in a move the White House described as “Orwellian nonsense.”
As of this writing, booking sites of American Airlines, Delta, and United Airlines only use Taipei’s airport code and city instead of direct references to Taiwan as a country.
“United Airlines has begun to roll out changes to its systems to address China’s requirements,” said a United Airlines spokesman. “United abides by and respects local laws and regulations in all markets and jurisdictions where we operate and conduct business.”
“United flights to mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan will continue to operate normally.”
Wednesday was the deadline Beijing had set for the change and stressed that there was “no room for negotiation” regarding the matter.
Taiwan is a delicate issue with China as the communist country considers it a breakaway province set for return.
Additionally, Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry blasted Beijing for “crudely and unreasonably interfering with private commercial activity and international companies’ operations.”
Early in his presidency, President Trump re-established ties with Taiwan with his historic phone call with the nation’s president in a move China called a “petty action.”