The White House on Saturday condemned China’s efforts to control how US airlines refer to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau, saying the push to make them comply with Chinese standards is “Orwellian nonsense.”
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement that US President Donald Trump “ran against political correctness in the United States” and he would “stand up for Americans resisting efforts by the Chinese Communist Party to impose Chinese political correctness on American companies and citizens.”
The Chinese Civil Aviation Administration (CAA) has demanded the change from 36 foreign carriers, including some US carriers, the White House said.
“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 said.
The Trump administration was calling on China “to stop threatening and coercing American carriers and citizens,” she said.
The harshly worded statement came as a high-level trade delegation led by US Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin returned from negotiations in China and as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke with a member of the Chinese Communist Party politburo.
In their telephone conversation on Saturday, Pompeo and Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi (楊潔篪) “affirmed the importance of a constructive, results-oriented bilateral relationship,” US Department of State spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.
The CAA asked the airlines to classify Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau as Chinese territories.
Australia’s Qantas Airways in January changed its Web site classification of Taiwan and Hong Kong from separate countries to Chinese territories, blaming its earlier approach on an “oversight.”
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