An Air New Zealand flight on its way to Shanghai was forced to return to Auckland after several hours in the air on Saturday because paperwork for the flight included a reference to Taiwan, news Web site Stuff reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
The problem related to documentation from the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority that was included as part of Air New Zealand’s application to allow the aircraft to land in China, the report said.
Beijing officials had warned the airline to remove any references that suggested Taiwan was a country, but the issue was not resolved, the report said.
In an e-mailed statement, the carrier said that a Boeing Co 787-9 Dreamliner that entered its fleet late last year and was not yet certified to fly to China was “unfortunately assigned” for the Shanghai flight.
As the original application had lapsed, a fresh one was submitted, it added.
“As is required, the application includes a list of destinations the airline operates to, including Taipei,” Air New Zealand said, without elaborating.
China has waged a campaign to force global businesses to conform to its world view if they want to stay in its good graces, including a demand to refer to Taiwan as a Chinese territory.
Some airlines, including American Airlines Group Inc, Delta Air Lines Inc, United Continental Holdings Inc, Hawaiian Holdings Inc, Qantas Airways Ltd, Air France-KLM and Deutsche Lufthansa AG cooperated with China’s wishes on how to refer to Taiwan before a deadline last year.
China and New Zealand were quick to downplay the controversy.
Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Hua Chunying (華春瑩) blamed the flight’s temporary deployment hiccup as a reason for the denial of authorization to land in China, citing news reports that she read online, according to the ministry’s Web site.
“This airplane failed to obtain a landing permit with its destination and decided on its own accord to return en route,” she said.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, in comments aired on a television channel, dismissed concerns that the returned flight was a sign of strains between the two countries.
The temporary airplane was not registered, she said, adding: “That was a consequence.”
“Our relationship with China is a complex relationship and sometimes it will have its challenges,” Ardern told TVNZ in an interview.
New Zealand yesterday said that an event to launch the China-New Zealand Year of Tourism in Wellington next week was postponed by the Chinese and Ardern told reporters that dates for her trip to China, planned for the end of last year, have still not been finalized.
“I have been issued with an invitation to visit China, that has not changed. We continue to find dates that would work,” Ardern said.
Ties with China have been tense under Ardern’s government, which has openly raised concerns about Beijing’s growing influence in the South Pacific.
Last year, New Zealand issued a defense policy statement which said that China’s rising influence in the South Pacific could undermine regional stability, and alluded to tension in the disputed South China Sea, sparking a complaint from China.
Additional reporting by Reuters
SAFETY RISK: The government is working to categorize countries based on their COVID-19 cases and prevention efforts, which would determine quarantine periods The government plans to rank countries based on their COVID-19 risks to determine how to treat tourists and other travelers from those nations once Taiwan reopens its borders, but it is still working out the categories, a top health official told lawmakers yesterday. “We would divide countries around the world into several categories. One category would comprise those countries with very few confirmed COVID-19 cases, such as New Zealand and Palau. Travelers from the countries in this category would only need to practice self-health management,” Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) told a Legislative Yuan seminar hosted by
China would attack Taiwan if there is no other way of stopping it from becoming independent, Chinese General Li Zuocheng (李作成) said yesterday. Speaking at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People on the 15th anniversary of China’s “Anti-Secession” Law, Li, who is chief of the Joint Staff Department of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Central Military Commission, left the door open to using force. The 2005 law is China’s legislative basis for military action against Taiwan. “If the possibility for peaceful reunification is lost, the people’s armed forces will, with the whole nation, including the people of Taiwan, take all necessary steps to
SECURITY CONCERNS: The Telecom Technology Center ran black-box tests for the Executive Yuan on devices and software from Chinese, US and South Korean firms Network devices from several Chinese manufacturers are insecure and allow personal information to be leaked, testing commissioned by the Executive Yuan has shown. A variety of devices and software, including apps, from Chinese, US and South Korean manufacturers that are used by government agencies at the central and local level were subjected to black-box testing — in which the functionality of an application is examined without knowing about its internal structure, an information-security official said yesterday on condition of anonymity. The Telecom Technology Center conducted the tests, which simulated cyberattacks, to determine their resilience to the attacks, the official said. The center
RELATIONSHIP ‘TERMINATED’: US Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that the president’s action was ‘an act of extraordinary senselessness,’ a tone Chinese media echoed US President Donald Trump on Friday announced that Washington would withdraw funding from the WHO, end Hong Kong’s special trade status and suspend visas of Chinese graduate students suspected of conducting research on behalf of their government. Trump said in a White House announcement that Chinese officials “ignored” their reporting obligations to the WHO and pressured the organization to mislead the public about the outbreak. “We have detailed the reforms that it must make and engaged with them directly, but they have refused to act,” he said. “Because they have failed to make the requested and greatly needed reforms, we will be