Money Taiwan hits back at Qantas over decision to bow to Beijing pressure

00:56  08 june  2018
00:56  08 june  2018 Source:   brisbanetimes.com.au

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Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce has defended his decision to bow to the Chinese government's demands to remove any material from the airline's website and booking systems that refers to Taiwan – a self-governing island of more than 23 million people – as an independent country.

Image caption Qantas has bowed to Chinese pressure over Taiwan . Qantas noted its decision was in line with the Australian government's long-held position on Taiwan . The crackdown followed a classified government paper that reportedly detailed efforts by Beijing to compromise policy-making.

Qantas boss Alan Joyce has defended the airline's decision to remove references to Taiwan as a separate country.© Louise Kennerley Qantas boss Alan Joyce has defended the airline's decision to remove references to Taiwan as a separate country. Taiwan says Qantas has misinterpreted Australia's “One-China” policy and should reverse its “wrong decision” to ditch references to it as a separate country to the Chinese mainland.

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce has defended his decision to bow to the Chinese government's demands to remove any material from the airline's website and booking systems that refers to Taiwan – a self-governing island of more than 23 million people – as an independent country.

Mr Joyce pointed out at a major airline conference in Sydney this week that the Australian government does not recognise Taiwan either, and that it had a One-China policy like many other countries.

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Image caption Qantas has bowed to Chinese pressure over Taiwan . Qantas noted its decision was in line with the Australian government's long-held position on Taiwan . The crackdown followed a classified government paper that reportedly detailed efforts by Beijing to compromise policy-making.

This article is over 1 month old. Qantas has bowed to Chinese pressure to change the way it refers to Taiwan on its website. On Tuesday she reiterated that position, saying Qantas was free to make its own corporate decisions .

But the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office said Australia had only “acknowledged” – instead of actually recognising – the position of the Chinese government that Taiwan was a province of the mainland when it established diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China (PRC) in 1972.

Constance Wang, the highest-ranking Taiwanese representative in NSW, said it was “deeply hurtful” for the Taiwanese people to see Qantas misinterpret its own country’s One-China policy and yield to political pressure from China, which put its business image and reputation at risk.

“With a population of 23 million, Taiwan has its own government, defence forces, parliament, currency and national institutions,” she said.

“Taiwan was never ruled by Communist China, or the PRC, for a single day, nor has it ever been a province of China.”

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Taiwan hits back at Qantas over decision to bow to Beijing pressure squib. by The Sydney Morning Herald 7 days ago. Taiwan is calling for Qantas to reverse its 'wrong decision ' to ditch references to it as a separate country to the Chinese mainland .

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She urged Qantas to “embrace the values” of Australia such as freedom, democracy and the rule of law, and reverse its “wrong decision” on Taiwan’s name designation.

Qantas, whose alliance partners include one of China's largest airlines, declined to comment.

The Chinese government considers Taiwan a breakaway province that will one day be reunited with the mainland, and its aviation regulator wrote to about 30 foreign airlines early this year demanding they stop referring to it as an independent nation.

Eighteen other airlines, including Air Canada, Lufthansa and British Airways, have complied with China's demands. China is forecast to overtake the US as the world's largest aviation market within five years, and Qantas has direct flights to Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

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