India justifies Air India changing Taiwan to "Chinese Taipei"

Narendra Modi and Xi Jinping

Earlier on Saturday, Taiwan's Defense Ministry said the ships were moving in a northeastern direction, adding that the situation was in accordance with regulations.

At his regular briefing Thursday, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar defended the renaming, saying that it was "consistent with worldwide aviation norms and with New Delhi's position since 1949", when New Delhi publicly accepted Beijing's "One China" policy, which bars the recognition of Taiwan -and Tibet- as separate entities.

China had raised concerns about Taiwan being described as a separate region by various airlines worldwide.

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Taiwan expressed disappointment after national carrier Air India changed "Taiwan" into "Chinese Taipei" on its official website.

Air India doesn't operate flights to Taiwan, but they have a code-sharing agreement with Air China that includes service to Taiwan.

MOFA spokesman Andrew Lee (李憲章) said the ministry has asked its representative office in New Delhi to file a protest with Air India, following the name change on the airline's official website in late June. Bowing ahead of China 's demand, Air India has chose to name the Taiwanese Chinese Taipei on its website.

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In April, China's civil aviation administration had written to several global carriers - including American Airlines, Air Canada, British Airways and Lufthansa - demanding the removal of any reference that might suggest that Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau were independent of China.

In January this year, Marriott International, the hotel chain, was forced to profusely apologise to China after a customer survey listed Tibet and Taiwan as separate countries.

Under its "One China" policy, Beijing considers Taiwan a province and opposes ties between Taipei and other capitals. However, the Modi government used to be proud of declaring that they had told off China on India's "one-China" policy, by saying they would support it only when China supported a "one-India" policy. In 2017, India hosted a delegation of parliamentarians from Taiwan, prompting a strong reaction from China, whose state media warned India against "playing with fire". Neither Japan Airlines nor ANA has heard a protest from Taiwan, but Japan's broadcaster, NHK, reported that Taiwan's Foreign Ministery Affairs had filed a complaint as a diplomatic mission in Taipei.

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In summary, China's Civil Aviation Authority has sent a letter to 36 foreign airlines on April 25, 2018, asking them to identify Taiwan as a part of China and not a sovereign country. Lufthansa has listed the airport as "Taipei - Taoyuan International TPE Taiwan, China", while British Airways has "Taipei (TPE), Taiwan-China".

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