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Air India Backs One China Policy, Changes 'Taiwan' to 'Chinese Taipei'

Air India's website, which until last month had "Taiwan" in its list of destinations, has now changed it to "Chinese Taipei," joining the bandwagon of airlines following the Chinese instruction to not identify Taiwan as a separate country.

New Delhi (Sputnik) — India's national carrier Air India has buckled under pressure and listed Taiwan as "Chinese Taipei" after China asked 34 global airlines, including Air India, to describe Taiwan as part of China or face punitive action after July 25.

READ MORE: India, China Resume Maritime Dialogue Amid Perceived Tussle in Indian Ocean

Earlier on April 25, the Civil Aviation Authority of China had ordered that no airlines operating to Taiwan would refer to it as a separate country. Several air carriers, including Singapore Airlines, Japan Airlines and Air Canada, among others, have already changed the description of Taiwan on their websites.

In recent years, joint statements between China and India have not mentioned the one-China policy. The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Wednesday did not reply to queries on whether Beijing had raised the matter with Delhi.

"The Taiwan question is a matter of China's domestic affairs. This issue and bilateral territorial disputes are different. China respects India's territorial integrity. It did not support the separatist movement in Assam province, and hence India should not support the demand for Taiwan independence. As a state-owned company, Air India should abide by the country's political pledge. In the context of better Sino-Indian ties, New Delhi can act wiser on the Taiwan question," Long Xingchun, a research fellow at The Charhar Institute wrote in the Global Times on Wednesday.

READ MORE: India Allows Bank of China to Open Office in Mumbai

Only US airlines, to date, have not followed the order of the Civil Aviation Authority of China.

"This is Orwellian nonsense and part of a growing trend by the Chinese Communist Party to impose its political views on American citizens and private companies," Sarah Huckabee Sanders, White House spokesperson said in a statement on May 6.

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