Several US airlines including United, American and Delta have complied with demands issued by the Chinese government to change their websites’ wording with respect to Taiwan, despite support from US lawmakers not to give in.
The airlines join a list of 36 foreign airlines that were given a July 25 deadline by Beijing to refer to the independently-ruled island of Taiwan as “Taiwan, China”. The penalty threat for failing to comply would have been restricted access to the Chinese market.
The response from many US politicians has been of disappointment, with some calling China’s tactics “pathetic” and signs of an “insecure” government. When the demand was first made in May, the White House called the policy an example of Beijing’s “Orwellian nonsense”, with even the President urging the companies to stay true, according to the Financial Times.
In response to the move, the Taiwanese government asked the international society to “take China’s aggressive international conduct seriously,” so as to “prevent an expansion of such unwanted pressure.”