Taiwan berates brands for siding with China

Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry yesterday criticized Air Canada and Gap on Twitter, accusing the airline of buckling under pressure and the clothing retailer of sending the wrong message to the world.

“The decision by @AirCanada to buckle under pressure from #Beijing & designate #Taiwan as part of #China on its website is unacceptable to the government & people of Taiwan,” the Taiwan Foreign Ministry tweeted yesterday. “We urge the carrier to reverse this change & respect Taiwan’s sovereignty and dignity.”

The foreign ministry has asked Air Canada for a “speedy correction” following the airline’s decision to list Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, as a part of China on its booking website, according to a statement from the ministry

The Canadian carrier site now lists destinations in Taiwan under the designation “CN,” which is shorthand for China. According to media reports, the change appeared to have been made in the past few days, based on archived versions of the carrier’s website.

The Chinese government recently wrote to more than 30 international airlines, including some US carriers, demanding that they change their websites to remove any information that could suggest that Taiwan, Hong Kong or Macau are not part of China.

Earlier this month, the White House slammed China’s demands as “Orwellian nonsense.”

President Donald Trump will “stand up for Americans resisting efforts by the Chinese Communist Party to impose Chinese political correctness on American companies and citizens,” press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.

“This is Orwellian nonsense and part of a growing trend by the Chinese Communist Party to impose its political views on American citizens and private companies,” Sanders added. She said the Trump administration is calling on China “to stop threatening and coercing American carriers and citizens.”

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