Fri, Apr 25, 2003 - Page 2 News List

Alliance urges name change for China Airlines

By Chang Yun-Ping  /  STAFF REPORTER

Presidential advisor Chen Lung-chu, second right, and a number of legislators show their approval during a press conference yesterday to a call for China Airlines to change its name to Taiwan Airlines.


Lawmakers and pro-Taiwan independence groups yesterday called on China Airlines to change its name because the name does not properly represent Taiwan and could be easily confused with China's Air China.

The Alliance to Campaign for Rectifying the Name of Taiwan (台灣正名運動聯盟) -- which proposed the airline change its name -- yesterday said the name does not clearly distinguish Taiwan's sovereignty from the PRC and would encourage the misperception that Taiwan is part of China.

The group urged the public and civil servants to boycott the airline until it changes its name.

"We hope the president and vice president will take the lead in refusing to take China Airlines' flights," the alliance said in a statement.

DPP Legislator Trong Chai (蔡同榮) said China has gained notoriety for spreading severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) to the world and that such an incident underlines the importance of rectifying the name of Taiwan, and to clearly separate Taiwan from China.

DPP Legislator Chiu Yeong-jen (邱永仁) said the airline's name is not justifiable, as it is not allowed to display the national flag on its planes and uses the plum flower as the company logo.

"China Airlines should change its name into Taiwan Airlines. If the airplanes fly from Taiwan, why use the name `China?' It's contradictory," Chiu said.

Peter Wang (王獻極), the alliance's coordinator, said that foreigners usually confused China Airlines with Air China.

"In one incidence, two New Zealanders who were supposed to take a China Airlines flight at Sydney's airport, mistakenly walked to the boarding gate of Air China and eventually landed in Beijing.

"The nuisance that stems from the similarities of two companies can be avoided if China Airlines drops this unrepresentative name," Wang said.

Chen Lung-chu (陳隆志), chairman of Taiwan New Century Foundation and an advisor to the president, said the company would not only benefit financially by changing its name to Taiwan Airlines -- since this would boost its passenger load -- but it would comply with the international reality that Taiwan is not part of China.

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