Taiwan is urging U.S. airlines to reject Beijing’s demand that the companies recognize the autonomous island as part of China ahead of a July 25 deadline for international carriers to comply or face steep penalties.
While dozens of foreign-based carriers, including British Airways and Air Canada, have edited their websites to list Taiwan as Chinese territory, several U.S. companies such as American, Delta, and United, say they are consulting with the Trump administration on the issue.
“The White House condemned Beijing’s action as ‘Orwellian nonsense,’ and publicly admonished that ‘China’s efforts to export its censorship and political correctness to Americans and the rest of the free world will be resisted,'” said Christine Hsueh, deputy representative of the D.C.-based Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office.
“We appreciate the support and efforts made by the U.S. administration and Congress. We strongly encourage the U.S. companies to uphold the freedom of speech and freedom to do business, and to stand up against any unwarranted demands from the authoritarian regime.”
In April, the Chinese government issued a letter to more than 40 international airlines threatening punishments if they refuse to list Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau as part of China on their online maps and drop-down menus.
Several carriers, including American Airlines, sought a 60-day extension to the initial May 25 deadline, giving the companies until July 25 to make the changes. Spokeswomen for American Airlines and Delta said they are conferring with the Trump administration on the matter.
“We are reviewing the Civil Aviation Administration of China’s request and will remain in close consultation with the U.S. Government throughout this process,” Delta said in a statement.