Air India site renames Taiwan as Chinese Taipei, China welcomes move

Air India Boeing 787-8

Air India Boeing 787-8

India's national carrier Air India, under pressure from China has joined several other airlines in listing Taiwan as "Chinese Taipei" in its travel guidelines, as wanted by China.

The spokesperson said Air India followed the procedure as advised by the Ministry of External Affairs in updating the airline's website with respect to changing name of Taiwan.

Air India operates flights to two destinations in China - Shanghai and Hong Kong.

Earlier in the day, Beijing welcomed Air India's move saying foreign companies must respect the country's sovereignty.

Air India is the flag carrier of India and is operated by state-owned Air India Ltd.

The TECC is Taiwan's representative office in India, functioning as an embassy of sorts in the absence of diplomatic relations. Beijing considers Taiwan a province of China.

"The ministry once again calls on the global community to stand up to the Chinese government's abuse of political power and its peremptory measures with inappropriate intentions to meddle in the independent operations of enterprises in various countries", he said. He said Chinese Defence Minister Gen Wei Fenghe would also visit India later this year.

Lee also urged other countries to guard against and resist such intervention by China, which he said was aimed at disrupting the independent operations of foreign companies to achieve its political objectives. According to reports, the Indian government maintains an office as the India-Taipei Association.

In Thursday's TECC statement, Ambassador Tien stressed the need for consultation with TECC if Air India chose to change the name of Taiwan on its website and expressed the hope that "the Indian government can provide firm support to its public services and private businesses to defend themselves from a foreign country's bully actions". China has requested that many influential companies from around the world such as Mercedes-Benz, Zara, Marriott, and GAP identify Taiwan, Tibet, Hong Kong, and Macau as part of China. And while the United States has discounted warnings from China and called it "Orwellian nonsense", neither India nor Japan have commented on the matter.

China and Taiwan - officially the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China, respectively - separated in 1949 following the Communist victory on the mainland after a civil war.

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