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Livid China asserts right over Taiwan as USA allows diplomatic visits there

Livid China asserts right over Taiwan as USA allows diplomatic visits there

The Chinese government continues to insist that foreign airlines operating in the country should not refer to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau as entities independent from China, even though the White House has labeled this move "Orwellian nonsense". Hong Kong and Macau are former European colonies that are now part of China but run largely autonomously.

"Regardless of what the United States will say or do, it will not change the fact that there is only one China in the world", spokesman Geng Shuang told a regular briefing, reiterating a statement Sunday.

The Chinese government sent a threatening letter on April 25 to dozens of global airlines warning that they would face severe consequences if they failed to identify Taiwan as a part of China, according to The Washington Post, which obtained a copy of the letter.

As reported by Foreign Policy magazine, "The Civil Aviation Administration of China has sent a letter to United Airlines and American Airlines demanding that their global operations follow China's restrictions against 'separatism, ' meaning that any references to Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau as countries independent from China must be removed".

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

A report by The Sydney Morning Herald on Monday said Australia's Foreign Minister Julie Bishop had warned Beijing against using threats to pressure Qantas to adopt the Communist Party's political line by referring to Taiwan as part of mainland China rather than a separate country. "China's efforts to export its censorship and political correctness to Americans and the rest of the free world will be resisted".

"You would expect the Chinese government to retaliate, such as shutting down websites or banning certain routes ... but there is no reason why these companies wouldn't comply because their priority is to the shareholders, not to abide by USA government foreign policy", said Wolf, who is now the Hong Kong-based senior emerging market economist for Aberdeen Standard Investment.

China is threatening foreign airlines with a version of the social credit system that is being implemented domestically, where more than seven million Chinese citizens have been deemed "untrustworthy".

The latest letter comes as Beijing's worsening trade spat with the USA heightens tensions between the two economic giants. Qantas' menu refers only to "Taipei, Taiwan".

In all, almost 40 global airlines have been targeted for running afoul of Beijing's dictates on areas it claims as part of Mainland China's holdings. Washington acknowledges Beijing's position that there is one China that includes Taiwan and the United States takes no stance on that question.

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