Published: Mon, May 07, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

United States scolds China over 'Orwellian' airline demands

United States scolds China over 'Orwellian' airline demands

We sought clarifications with MIA - the Civil Aviation Authority of the Macau SAR (AACM) was unavailable for comments - after Reuters reported on Saturday that China's Civil Aviation Administration had sent a letter to a number of U.S. air carriers requesting the latter to change the way they refer to the three localities mentioned above.

The notice demanded that carriers change how Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao are identified on their websites and in their promotional material so that the references fall in line with the Communist Party's standards, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said.

It was unclear if the call came after, or was a response to, the White House statement - or if the two had even discussed the issue of how Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau are referred to by USA companies.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong, a British colony until 1997, and Macau, a Portuguese colony until 1999, are now "special administrative regions" of China.

"We call on China to stop threatening and coercing American carriers and citizens", the statement concluded, marking the strongest rebuke to date by the USA government of China's efforts to manipulate foreign companies to ensure that they meet Beijing's demands.

The White House's sharp criticism follows contentious trade talks between senior United States and Chinese officials last week.

"My group just got back from China".

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"In the meantime, we have to point out that foreign enterprises operating in China should respect China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, abide by China's law and respect the national sentiment of the Chinese people".

"Whatever the U.S. said will never change the objective fact that there is only one China in the world".

Trump earlier this week praised his relationship with Xi but there were no signs of significant progress at the talks on Thursday and Friday.

China has said its own retaliatory tariffs on USA goods, including soybeans and aircraft, will go into effect if the US duties are imposed.

The foreign ministry in Beijing released a statement Sunday that all three places "are an inalienable part of China's territory".

A spokesman for Airlines for America, a trade group representing United Airlines, American Airlines, and other major carriers, said on Saturday it was working with the USA government to determine "next steps" in the dispute. The letter from China's Civil Aviation Administration is the latest in a series of similar actions Beijing has taken to force foreign companies to advance its questionable interests.

The Australian airline Qantas also received a letter, because its website lists Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau as countries, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

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