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'Taiwan Will Not Bow To Pressure,' Taipei Government Says After China Forces Airlines To Drop Taiwan From Websites

The government in Taipei has expressed its determination to stand up to China after 44 airlines bowed to pressure from Beijing and stopped listing Taiwan as a separate country. 

On July 25 Chinese Communist Party (CCP) newspaper People's Daily announced that American Airlines, United, Delta, Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific as well as forty other airlines had complied with a request filed by the Civil Aviation Administration of China on April 25 to list Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau as part of Chinese territory.   

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American Airlines spokeswoman Shannon Gilson told the BBC that the company was implementing changes to address China's request. "Air travel is global business, and we abide by the rules in countries where we operate," she stated.

In a written statement Cathay Pacific explained that as an airline registered and based in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) of the People's Republic of China (PRC) it "must comply with the regulations and requirements of the relevant civil aviation authorities."

The PRC claims that Taiwan is part of its territory, despite never having ruled or controlled it. Taiwan and outlying islands are currently administered by the Republic of China (ROC), the state founded in 1912 in China after the overthrow of the last imperial dynasty. The ROC was defeated by Mao Zedong's Communists in 1949 and its government relocated to Taiwan.  


Lin Ho-ming (林鶴明), a spokesperson for Taiwan's Presidential Office, said that in spite of being "a close neighbour of the world's largest Communist country and subject to its relentless pressure, it holds on to its deep love for freedom and democracy (自由民主的熱愛)."    

He pointed out that Taiwan is an economic powerhouse that is integrated into the global system and is founded upon universal values. "No attempt to change our name on the internet will erase our country from the world," Lin said, adding that "the people of Taiwan will absolutely never bow to pressure, and will never sacrifice their ideal of freedom and the welfare of the next generation."

Lin called on the international community to face squarely "China's increasingly out-of-control behaviour," to defend the values of freedom and democracy, as well as the safety and stability of the international community.  

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