09:23 GMT +323 July 2018
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    Delta Urged to Atone for Calling Taiwan, Tibet 'Countries' Amid Chinese Outcry

    © AP Photo / Mark Lennihan
    Asia & Pacific
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    The Civil Aviation Administration of China has urged US Delta Airlines to investigate and publicly apologize for listing Taiwan and Tibet as countries on its website.

    The US carrier Delta Airlines has apologized for listing Taiwan and Tibet as countries on its website and for "hurting the feelings of the Chinese people," and said that the company was "thoroughly examining internal processes," adding that it would take "urgent steps to correct errors."

    According to China's aviation authority, it would require all international airlines operating in China, to check up their websites, apps and customer-related information so that they "strictly comply with China's laws and regulations to prevent a similar thing from happening."

    Foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a regular briefing on Friday that Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and Tibet were all part of China. He added that the minimum requirement of any company conducting business in the country was "to respect China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, abide by China’s laws, and respect the feelings of the Chinese people."

    The United States, along with many other countries, does not recognize Taiwan as a sovereign nation and officially sticks to the "One China" position, but has kept informal relations with the island after severing diplomatic ties with it in 1979.

    READ MORE: Taiwan Angry Over New Chinese Aviation Routes That ‘Harm Regional Stability'

    At the same time, Beijing has accused Washington of meddling in its internal affairs after President Donald Trump signed the National Defense Authorization Act into law in December that laid the foundation for mutual naval drills between Taiwan and the United States.

    Zara Under Fire Too

    Apart from Delta Airlines, Chinese regulators urged fashion brand Zara, medical device maker Medtronic to investigate and remove Taiwan and Tibet from their list of countries on websites.

    Marriott Hotel Shuts Down Its Website

    Earlier this week, the hotel chain Marriott was forced to shut down its mainland China website and app after it had sent out a customer survey that included Taiwan, Tibet and the Chinese territory of Hong Kong in a list of countries.

    While formally the People's Republic of China and Taiwan, officially known as the Republic of China, remains a single country as each considers the other as "renegade provinces," Beijing has repeatedly called it "the most sensitive issue" in its relationships with the United States.

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    Zara, Delta Airlines, China, United States, Taiwan
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