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. 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.
With great travel benefits, 2x points on travel & dining and a 50,000 point sign up bonus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game. Here are the top 5 reasons it should be in your wallet, or read our definitive review for more details.
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® named a 'Best Travel Credit Card' by MONEY® Magazine, 2016-2017
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- No foreign transaction fees
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards