The United States criticised China for its efforts to force foreign airlines to change how they refer to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau, reported Reuters on Monday. A press statement from the White House called China’s guidelines “Orwellian nonsense”.
On Sunday, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang urged foreign corporations running businesses in China to respect the nation’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, abide by China’s laws and respect Chinese people’s national feelings, reported The China Daily.
China’s Civil Aviation Administration sent a letter to 36 foreign air carriers, including a number of US carriers, demanding that they remove references on their websites or in other material that suggests Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau are part of countries independent from China, reported Reuters.
The White House statement said President Donald Trump “will stand up for Americans resisting efforts by the Chinese Communist Party to impose Chinese political correctness on American companies and citizens.” The statement further said, “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.”
Taiwan is a self-ruled, democratic island that China considers a wayward province, whereas Hong Kong and Macau are Chinese territories operating with a certain degree of autonomy. Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen tweeted, “We call on all businesses to resist #China’s efforts to mischaraterize #Taiwan.”