TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Reports have surfaced that Beijing is pressuring the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to change the country of Taiwan's designation to "Taiwan, China," and if it relents, all airlines in the world will be forced to obediently follow suit, reported Liberty Times.
In late April, China sent a letter to commercial airlines demanding that Taiwan not be classified as a country and instead be listed as a province of China. However, this move has been criticized by American and Australian authorities, with the spokesperson for the U.S. White House on May 5 asking China to stop imposing its political correctness on American airline carriers, condemning such an act as “Orwellian nonsense.”
Of the 44 airlines which received the letter, 18 have made modifications to their websites appease Beijing, while the remaining 26 have delayed making changes due to "technical reasons." The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has given the remaining holdouts a "grace period" that lasts until July 25 to make the changes.
To ensure that the world's airlines obediently follow the Chinese Communist Party's demands, Beijing in early May also sent a letter to the IATA pressuring it to change Taiwan's status to "Taiwan, China," according to Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). Experts agree that if the IATA relents to Beijing's demands, its 280 member airlines from more than 100 countries would have no choice but to follow suit.
Meanwhile, MOFA has directed its overseas offices to contact the IATA and convey "Taiwan's unwavering stance of defending its national designation and national dignity," reported CNA. Taiwan's Civil Aeronautics Administration sent a message to IATA Chairman Alexandre de Juniac calling on the organization to take actions that will cause Beijing to "correct its wrong practices," according to the report.