China to US Airlines: ‘No Room for Negotiation’ on Taiwan Demands
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
China has told US airlines there will be “no room for negotiation” on its demands that the carriers list the island of Taiwan as a Chinese territory on their websites. The mandate’s deadline, which was extended at the request of the all three US legacy carriers, is Wednesday.
The Civil Aviation Administration of China demanded that United, Delta and American Airlines change online references to self-ruled Taiwan to “Taiwan, China.” The three carriers said at the end of June that they were each considering the requests and working with the White House to come to a resolution on the issue.
Beijing also made the request of at least 36 airlines around the world, sending them letters in April pushing them to list Taiwan (along with Hong Kong and Macau) as part of China. Taiwan separated from mainland China in 1949, but Beijing claims the island as its territory.
Of the airlines that received letters, Air Canada, Lufthansa, British Airways, Finnair, Garuda Indonesia, Asiana Airlines and Philippine Airlines have changed the way they refer to Taiwan to reflect that it’s part of China, according to the Associated Press. SAS, Swiss, Malaysia Airlines, Cebu Pacific Air, Aeroflot, Alitalia, Austrian Airlines, Air Mauritius, Etihad Airways, Iberia, EL AL, MIAT Mongolian Airlines and Russia’s S7 Airlines also show Taiwan as part of China, but it wasn’t clear if they had made the changes after receiving the letter from Beijing.
Two Japanese airlines, ANA and Japan Airlines, skirted the issue by making the changes only to the Chinese versions of their websites. It is unclear if this might also be an option for the US carriers.
The White House has called the demands “Orwellian nonsense.” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in May the push from Beijing was “part of a growing trend by the Chinese Communist Party to impose its political views on American citizens and private companies.”
The fallout for airlines could be severe. China is a huge aviation market for airlines around the world — and is only growing. China is predicted to displace the US as the largest aviation market by 2022, according to analysis from the International Air Transport Association.
China has not yet specified how it will punish carriers that might buck the request. Previously, Beijing had vaguely threatened legal sanctions and other consequences for their business.
Featured image of Taipei by Han Lin/Getty Images.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
- Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at US restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
- Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees