MEA defends AIs decision to change Taiwans name

Narendra Modi and Xi Jinping

The spokesperson said Air India followed the procedure as advised by the Ministry of External Affairs in updating the airline's website with respect to changing name of Taiwan.

Air India will now refer to Taiwan as Chinese Taipei, becoming the latest airline that has bowed to pressure from China and change how they refer to the self-ruled country.

He said Air India's practice showed "respect for the objective fact, common sense and global consensus that there is only one China in the world and that Taiwan is a part of China". However, Beijing claims that it is a province of China and does not recognise it as an independent country under its One China policy.

However, Ambassador Chung said the TECC has written to the MEA in protest against Air India's action and is awaiting a response. The airline does not have any direct flight to Taiwan, but it has a code share with Air China, which flies to Taiwan.

Earlier on Saturday, Taiwan's Defense Ministry said the ships were moving in a northeastern direction, adding that the situation was in accordance with regulations.

However, Beijing welcomed the decision by Air India, asserting that foreign companies operating in the country must obey China's law and respect its sovereignty and territorial integrity. According to reports, the Indian government maintains an office as the India-Taipei Association.

Immediately after the MEA clarification, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Centre in India (TECC) lodged a formal complaint with the MEA. That flight is therefore listed on the Air India website, which is why the concern is applicable. He said Chinese Defence Minister Gen Wei Fenghe would also visit India later this year.

People's Daily China - a state-run newspaper - said on Twitter that the move shows how Indian carriers consider Taiwan to be an integral part of China.

As of press time, India's Ministry of External Affairs had not commented on the matter. China has requested that many influential companies from around the world such as Mercedes-Benz, Zara, Marriott, and GAP identify Taiwan, Tibet, Hong Kong, and Macau as part of China.

The United States and Australia have also slammed China's pressure on companies.

Taiwan is a democratic island to which then ruling Nationalists fled after they were defeated by the Communists in the civil war in China in 1949.

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