TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) has successfully convinced 22 airlines to correct their references to Taiwan, despite Beijing's concerted campaign to intimidate international air carriers into altering them to erroneously include it as part of the communist country.
On April 25, 2018, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) sent a threatening letter to 36 international airlines demanding they change their listing for Taiwan on their websites to "Taiwan, China" or "Taiwan Area." On May 5, the White House condemned Beijing's bullying of airlines as "Orwellian nonsense."
Over the following months and years, dozens of airlines complied with China's demands. However, Taiwan launched its own campaign to counter this order and gradually began to convince air carriers to restore their references to Taiwan.
On Saturday (May 9), Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chiu Chih-wei (邱志偉) told the media that he received a written reply from MOFA to an inquiry on the status of Taiwan's efforts to reverse these name changes. The letter stated that 22 airlines have restored Taiwan's listing as a separate country, while 39 are still showing the Chinese government's version, reported CNA.
However, Chiu said MOFA did not name the airlines which made the corrections for fear that they would again fall victim to a new intimidation campaign by China.
Chiu said that while the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has brought down the aviation industry of many countries,Taiwan has successfully contained the virus. He noted that the international community has recognized Taiwan's success in fighting the virus, and many countries now support Taiwan's participation in the World Health Assembly (WHA).
Given that Taiwan is boosting its standing in the international community, Chiu called on MOFA to seize the opportunity to reverse various campaigns China has carried out to lower its status on the global stage. Chiu said that to resolve the issue of Taiwan's improper designations in international aviation, the country should work together and cooperate with the global community to better differentiate itself from China.
The DPP leader said that although much progress has been made, there is still is a long way to go. Chiu therefore encouraged MOFA to redouble its efforts at restoring Taiwan's name on airline websites.
Chiu added that Taiwan's national carrier, China Airlines (CAL), should change its name to help clarify the difference between Taiwan and China to the international community, reported FTV News.