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Asia Minute: Taiwan and Air Pressure

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What’s in a name? When it comes to the destination for an airline — it can be a lot — especially if the destination is Taiwan. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute.

There are new developments this week in an ongoing story about overseas airlines, the Chinese government, and the territory of Taiwan.

Months ago, the Beijing government told some three dozen international airlines they need to refer to the island as “Taiwan, China” on their maps and websites.

Most have complied, several have not — including a series of U.S. carriers.

This week, the Australian airline Qantas became the latest to say it would comply — clearly under pressure that was criticized by the country’s Foreign Minister.

Julie Bishop issued a statement Tuesday saying “Private companies should be free to conduct their usual business operations free from political pressure of governments.”

The Trump Administration has dismissed the Chinese demand for changed language as “Orwellian nonsense.”

The Financial Times reports the Trump Administration is urging American carriers to ignore China on this issue.

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The FT says American Airlines, Delta and United are all in consultation with the U.S. government.

Meanwhile, China has pushed back its deadline for airlines to comply until late this month.

It’s still not clear what will happen if changes are not made.

Bill Dorman has been the news director at Hawaiʻi Public Radio since 2011.
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