Sat, Sep 01, 2018 - Page 3 News List

United Airlines uses currency to refer to Taiwan

Staff writer, with Bloomberg

United Continental Holdings Inc has begun using currency codes to refer to Taiwan after China told global carriers earlier this year to alter their Web sites to list Taiwan as part of China — a directive that the White House termed “Orwellian nonsense.”

In a drop-down menu on the United Airlines’ Chinese-language Web site, Taiwan, China and Hong Kong are referred to by the New Taiwan dollar, Chinese yuan and Hong Kong dollar.

Other destinations are identified by country name.

“We welcome measures that honor Taiwan’s sovereignty,” Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Andrew Lee (李憲章) said. “We thank United Airlines for flexibility in handling the issue.”

Under United’s options for departure and arrival cities, country codes have been removed for cities in Taiwan and China, a change also adopted by the other three major US carriers.

However, the United Airlines move drew criticism from the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

“However flexible they might try to be, there is simply no way to sidestep the ‘one China’ principle,” Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Hua Chunying (華春瑩) said in Beijing on Thursday, referring to overseas firms operating in China. “There is only one China in the world and Taiwan is part of China. This is the objective fact, common sense and international consensus.”

China’s Civil Aviation Administration asked 44 foreign airlines to change their online references to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau to say they are part of China.

For instance, Taiwan should be referred to as “China Taiwan” or the “China Taiwan region,” it said.

While almost all airlines complied with the demand, China has said changes by United, Delta Air Lines Inc, American Airlines Group Inc and Hawaiian Airlines are still incomplete.

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