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Deeply disappointed over Air Indias move Taiwan

10 July 2018

Ministry spokesperson Andrew Lee said that Taiwan's representative office in New Delhi asked the airline to reverse its decision last week and will monitor developments to ensure "the independent sovereignty and dignity of Taiwan".

At his regular briefing Thursday, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar defended the renaming, saying that it was "consistent with global 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. The change occurred because China has raised concerns over Taiwan being described as a sovereign region that is separate from China by airlines around the world.

Earlier, Air India's spokesperson said it followed the procedure as advised by the Ministry of External Affairs in updating its website with respect to changing name of Taiwan. Air India operates a code-share flight to Taiwan with Air China.

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Air India is the flag carrier of India and is operated by state-owned Air India Ltd. Bowing ahead of China 's demand, Air India has made a decision to name the Taiwanese Chinese Taipei on its website. The Civil Aviation Authority of China (CAAC), on April 25, had sent out letters to various foreign airlines asking them them to change the way Taiwan was referred to in their website, as per media reports.

"That Air India lists Taiwan as a country goes against India's official stance".

Until some time ago, Air India on its website called the island as Taiwan, which China considers a breakaway province and has vowed to unite it with mainland someday.

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The TECC representative, ambassador Chung Kwang Tien, urged Air India to restore the name "Taiwan" on its website.

The Indian ministries of external affairs as well as civil aviation were not immediately available for comment. He said Chinese Defence Minister Gen Wei Fenghe would also visit India later this year. The United States termed the demand "Orwellian nonsense" in May. In this connection, the MEA spokesperson also noted that a People's Liberation Army (PLA) delegation, led by Lt Gen Liu Xiaowu, was now visiting India.

China's hostility toward Taiwan has grown since Tsai Ing-wen from the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party won presidential elections on the island in 2016.

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Deeply disappointed over Air Indias move Taiwan