Qantas has announced it will change its website and refer to Taiwan as a Chinese territory after recent pressure from Beijing.
In April, the airline received a letter from The Civil Aviation Administration of China, the state airline regulator, ordering it to get rid of anything on their website that suggests that Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau are separate countries to mainland China.
Hong Kong and Macau are special administrative regions – so non-Chinese businesses sometimes portray them as being separate territories. On Qantas’ website, for example, Hong Kong is located in the “Hong Kong SAR” as opposed to in China.
the airline regulator gave Qantas, along with three dozen other airlines, a May 25 deadline to make the changes, but Qantas was granted an extension, reports the ABC.
Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said at the International Air Transport Association (IATA) that the airline would comply with the request but “it is just taking time to get there.”
Despite the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website stating the Australian government does not recognise Taiwan as having “the status of a national government”, Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop voiced her opposition to Beijing’s attempts to pressure Qantas into changing their website.
“Private companies should be free to conduct their usual business operations free from political pressure of governments,” Bishop said in a statement to the ABC.
“The decision of how Qantas structures its website is a matter for the company’s management.”