China rejects US request for talks on airline website row
Beijing/Washington: China has rejected US requests for talks over how American airlines and their websites refer to Chinese-claimed Taiwan, according to sources, including a US official, adding to tensions in a bilateral relationship already frayed by a major trade dispute.
China has demanded that foreign firms, and airlines in particular, begin referring to Taiwan as Chinese territory on their websites, along with Hong Kong and Macau, a move described by the White House in May as “Orwellian nonsense”.
Numerous non-US carriers, such as Air Canada, Lufthansa and British Airways have already made changes to their websites, according to Reuters checks.
But several US companies, including Delta Air Lines and United Airlines, were among carriers that sought extensions to a May 25 deadline to make the changes. The final deadline is July 25.
In late May, the US State Department presented China’s Foreign Ministry with a diplomatic note requesting consultations on the matter, but the ministry has since refused it, two sources briefed on the situation told Reuters.
“This has definitely become a foreign policy issue,” one of the sources said on condition of anonymity, noting that the US.