White House Urges US Airlines To Resist Beijing's "Orwellian Nonsense" On Taiwan

After describing it as "Orwellian nonsense" last month, the Trump administration is again pushing back against China's request that US airlines change how they refer to Taiwan to make clear that it is a part of China.

“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,” the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said in a statement.

According to the Financial Times, US officials have asked United, American Airlines and Delta not to comply with China's demands, which stipulate that airlines should refer to Taiwan as "Taiwan, China" on their websites and maps. China sent letters earlier this year to 36 foreign airlines demanding they remove any language which implied that Taiwan was an independent state, saying they have until later this month to comply.


The White House has urged airlines to push back and tell China that this issue should be handled by the US and Chinese governments.

American Airlines CEO Doug Parker told the FT last month that the Taiwan issue is "between countries."

"The United States has replied to the Chinese government and as a result we are following the direction of the US government," said Mr Parker, who would not say if he viewed the order as Orwellian nonsense. "I’m not certain if we are obliged to [heed the US government guidance] but right now it is between our government and their government and we are following the guidance of our government."

While the White House is trying to reassure carriers that it will handle the issue with China, air lines are nervous because they could lose access to valuable routes in China at a time when the Chinese market is becoming increasingly important for aviation.

"If airlines are denied landing rights, they will simply have to deal with the commercial realities presented by the Chinese government and US top cover won’t help," said Evan Medeiros, a former White House Asia official. "The only message the Chinese will understand is if the airlines, for their own reasons, are not willing to accept Chinese demands. The Chinese know the pressure points, and it is airline operations and not government-to-government interactions."

A group of US senators recently wrote to the airlines urging them to rebuff China's request.

A bipartisan group of US senators, including Cory Gardner from Colorado and Marco Rubio from Florida, ​recently wrote to United and American to urge them to resist the "long arm" of the Chinese government. Mr Gardner told the Financial Times that the airlines should think twice about complying with the Chinese order, and said the US should consider retaliatory measures again Chinese airlines if necessary.

Australia's Qantas Airline and several other foreign airlines have decided to comply with China's request, according to Business Insider.


Qantas said it's in the process of changing over all references to Taiwan in its systems and on its website, but that finalizing such a move will take time.

"Our intention is to meet the requirements. It is just taking time to get there," CEO Alan Joyce told reporters at the annul meeting of the International Air Transport Association.


"The IT and technology that underpins our websites and the connectivity takes time for us to get to grips with changes that need to be put into the programming stages of that," the statement read.


"An inter-governmental agreement on the naming and grouping of states and territories would be a helpful reference. In the meantime, airlines wishing to serve the China market are doing their best to comply with China's very stringent requirements."

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the International Air Transport Association said its members had no "no wish to make political statements" in their descriptions of markets. 

Air Canada, Air France, Malaysia Airlines, and a handful of other carriers have changed their references to Taiwan since receiving letters from Beijing. Lufthansa and British Airways made similar changes earlier this year after Delta Air Lines was censured by China for listing Taiwan as a country on its website. China has also been pressuring hotel chains and retailers. White House officials were reportedly angered earlier this year when Delta apologized to China for labeling Taiwan and Tibet as countries on their website.


dirty fingernails Tue, 06/05/2018 - 20:50 Permalink

It looks like China has either been selected as the weakest of the resistance or just distraction de jour. MIC payday never ends

Pretty hypocritical for a country on the other side of the Pacific Ocean to be criticising the "long arm of China" over an island off its coast

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In reply to by Adolfsteinbergovitch

Curiously_Crazy gmrpeabody Wed, 06/06/2018 - 00:59 Permalink

"Oh.., our wishy washy Aussies...

They are such a proud people..."

We are. We are proud of being wishy washy ;)

In all seriousness though a lot of us realise how fucked up things are on the whole (see the recent royal commission into the banking system, where unlike a number of other countries heads are rolling and execs are facing court). https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=12… 

"Criminal charges have also been laid against several senior executives such as ANZ Treasurer Rick Moscati, Citigroup's John McLean, Itay Tuchman and Stephen Roberts, as well as Michael Ormaechea and Michael Richardson, both formerly of Deutsche Bank."

It could end up being all for show, but at least the people stood up and demanded that show.

In reply to by gmrpeabody

SACRED-COW SACRED-COW Tue, 06/05/2018 - 21:01 Permalink
  1. You look like you are 18.
  2. You like to eat chicken feet.
  3. You suck on fish heads and fish fins.
  4. You have a Chinese knick-knack hanging on your rear view mirror.
  5. You sing Karaoke.
  6. Your house is covered with tile.
  7. Your kitchen is covered by a sticky film of grease.
  8. Your stove is covered with aluminum foil.
  9. You leave the plastic covers on your remote control.
  10. You've never kissed your mom or dad.
  11. You've never hugged your mom or dad.
  12. Your unassisted vision is worse than 20/500.
  13. You wear contacts, to avoid wearing your "coke bottle glasses".
  14. You've worn glasses since you were in fifth grade.
  15. Your hair sticks up when you wake up.
  16. You'll haggle over something that is not negotiable.
  17. You love to use coupons.
  18. You drive around looking for the cheapest petrol.
  19. You drive around for hours looking for the best parking space.
  20. You take showers at night.
  21. You avoid the non-free snacks in hotel rooms.
  22. You don't mind squeezing 20 people into one motel room.
  23. Most girls have more body hair than you, if you are male.
  24. You tap the table when someone pours tea for you.
  25. You say "Apia!" and "Wash!" frequently.
  26. You don't want to wear your seat belt because it is uncomfortable.
  27. You love Las Vegas, slot machines, and blackjack.
  28. You unwrap Christmas gifts very carefully, so you can reuse the paper.
  29. You only buy Christmas cards after Christmas, when they are 50% off.
  30. You have a vinyl table cloth on your kitchen table.
  31. You spit bones and other food scraps on the table. (That's why you need the vinyl tablecloth).
  32. You have stuff in the freezer since the beginning of time.
  33. You use the dishwasher as a dish rack.
  34. You have never used your dishwasher.
  35. You keep a Thermos of hot water available at all times.
  36. You eat all meals in the kitchen.
  37. You save grocery bags, tin foil, and tin containers.
  38. You have a piano in your living room
  39. You pick your teeth at the dinner table (but you cover your mouth).
  40. You twirl your pen around your fingers.
  41. You hate to waste food.
  42. You have Tupperware in your fridge with three bites of rice or one leftover chicken wing.
  43. You don't own any real Tupperware - only a cupboard full of  used but carefully rinsed margarine tubs, takeout containers, and jam jars.
  44. You also use the jam jars as drinking glasses.
  45. You have a collection of miniature shampoo bottles that you take every time you stay in a hotel.
  46. You carry a stash of your own food whenever you travel (travel means any car ride longer than 15 minutes). These snacks are always dried and include dried plums, mango, ginger, and squid.
  47. You wash your rice at least 2-3 times before cooking it.
  48. Your dad thinks he can fix everything himself.
  49. The dash board of your Honda is covered by hundreds of small toys.
  50. You don't use measuring cups.
  51. You beat eggs with chopsticks.
  52. You have a teacup with a cover on it.
  53. You always look phone numbers up in the phone book, since calling information costs 50 cents.
  54. You only make long distance calls after 11pm.
  55. If you are male, you clap at something funny and if you are female, you giggle whilst placing a hand over your mouth.
  56. You like Chinese films in their original undubbed versions.
  57. You love Chinese Martial Arts films.
  58. You've learnt some form of martial arts.
  59. Shaolin actually mean something to you.
  60. You like congee with thousand year old eggs.
  61. You prefer your shrimp with the heads and legs still attached.
  62. You never call your parents just to say hi.
  63. If you don't live at home, when your parents call, they ask  if you've eaten, even if it's midnight.
  64. When you're sick, your parents tell you not to eat fried foods or baked goods due to yeet hay.
  65. You know what yeet hay is.
  66. You e-mail your Chinese friends at work, even though you only 10 feet apart.
  67. You use a face cloth.
  68. You starve yourself before going to all you can eat places.
  69. You know someone who can get you a good deal on jewelry or electronics.
  70. You save your old Coke bottle glasses even though you're never going to use them again.
  71. You own your own meat cleaver and sharpen it.
  72. Your toothpaste tubes are all squeezed paper-thin.
  73. You know what moon cakes are.
  74. When there is a sale on toilet paper, you buy 100 rolls and  store them in your closet or in the bedroom of an adult child who has moved out.
  75. Your parents know how to launch nasal projectiles.
  76. You iron your own shirts.
  77. You play a musical instrument.
  78. Even if you're totally full, if someone says they're going to throw away the leftovers on the table, you'll finish them.
  79. You've eaten a red bean popsicle.
  80. You bring oranges (or other produce) with you as a gift when you visit people's homes.
  81. You fight over who pays the dinner bill.
  82. You majored in something practical like engineering,  medicine or law.
  83. You live with your parents and you are 30 years old (and they prefer it that way). Or if you're married and 30 years old, you live in the apartment next door to your parents, or at least in the same neighborhood.
  84. You don't tip more than 10% at a restaurant, and if you do, you tip Chinese delivery guys/waiters more.
  85. You have acquired a taste for bitter melon.
  86. You eat every last grain of rice in your bowl, but don't eat the last piece of food on the table.
  87. You know why there are 88 reasons.
  88. You see the truth in this and then send it to all your Chinese friends.

In reply to by SACRED-COW

Fireman SACRED-COW Wed, 06/06/2018 - 05:18 Permalink

T Rump showed the world who the true masters of "orwellian nonsense" are when his rake daughter married to zooish slum lord painted the USSAN embassy in innocent protestors blood in the orwellian opening of the anglozionazi edifice in the Palestinian capital last month. You want "orwellian nonsense".....just get in touch with Rothschild servant Orang Utang T Rump!

In reply to by SACRED-COW

uhland62 dirty fingernails Wed, 06/06/2018 - 00:03 Permalink

My history book says Taiwan was allocated to China in 1945 after the defeat of the Japanese. Then in 1947 an independence movement started hostilities. This was put down by forces which weren't mentioned and then the anti-Mao forces fled to Taiwan, which was supported by the US until 1971 when Taiwan lost its UN security council seat. 

It's not that complicated, miss out on China business if you think Taiwan is independent. Which necessity is there for American airlines etc. to fly into China?

In reply to by dirty fingernails

yvhmer dirty fingernails Wed, 06/06/2018 - 04:27 Permalink

If it had not been for Nixon's one China bullcrap,  the diplomatic reality of today would reflect the actual situation on the ground. 

Prc was not able to crush the kwomintang . The rival to their.commie ideas. 

So we have a prc and a Republic of China on the Island of Taiwan/ Formosa.

There exists a mutual defense treaty between the US and the Republic of China.

If the principle of Taiwan being part of China takes hold here, the US can no longer maintain a mutual defense treaty or even sell tanks to Taiwan. 

It is a little pinch , but an important one. 

Simply drop the one China Bullshit. 

In reply to by dirty fingernails

typeatme Tue, 06/05/2018 - 20:55 Permalink


Maybe chinese airlines don't need to land in any US airports?

Maybe chinese ships need to unload in Taiwan and tranship in US vessels....

it do get complicated.....

Don't "kowtow" to the chinese...it ONLY encourages them to demand more....LOOK at how they
behave, the history over the last 10 years.....(or 1000)....

nope...Taiwan is an independent state--separated from the Chinese mainland in 1946...that's settled...

I suspect their economy and credit system will collapse if they insist on pushing this....maybe it we should help...

What did Napoleon say "Never interrupt an enemy when he is making a mistake"....yea....