The inclusion of Air China among the sponsors of the Republic of China (ROC) Tourism Bureau’s promotional event for the “Tour Taiwan” events in Washington has prompted concerns from some that it might give foreigners the impression that Taiwan is a part of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), or that Air China is Taiwanese.
Participants expressed surprise at seeing the short introduction for Air China, a Chinese airline company, within the pamphlet promoting tourism in Taiwan that was handed out at the event. Meanwhile, although China Airlines (華航) and EVA Airways Corp (長榮航空), Taiwan’s two main airlines, are mentioned in the pamphlet, there were no introductions for them.
Noting that Air China is the flagship airline of the PRC, some event participants wondered why an event officially endorsed by the Taiwanese government was promoting a Chinese airline.
Thomas Chang (張維庭), director of the Tourism Bureau’s New York office, said the event’s main purpose was to celebrate the ROC’s centential this year, as well as promote Taiwan-bound tourism.
With the government’s plan to permit independent tourists from China to visit Taiwan, Chinese tourists and overseas Chinese are the main focus of the bureau’s efforts, Chang added.
Chang said Air China was included in the promotional pamphlets because Air China had flights that flew directly to Taipei.
Deputy Director of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office Jacob Chang (張大同) was invited to give the opening speech for the event. He said he did not know Air China was a sponsor until he arrived at the event, which was held at Fogo de Chao, a renowned restaurant in Washington.
Air China’s New York office representative, meanwhile, also attended the event.
TRANSLATED BY JAKE CHUNG, STAFF WRITER