India justifies Air India changing Taiwan to "Chinese Taipei"
A day after Air India, on Beijing's demand, made a change on its website to refer to Taiwan as "Chinese Taipei", the Indian government has justified its action. Despite the justification, neither Taiwanese media, nor the Taiwanese government and state agencies were happy with India's decision, and they made sure to get their point across. Here's more on it.
Speaking on the decision, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said that Air India's decision was "consistent with international norms" and with India's "own position on Taiwan since 1949". India has always been wary about Chinese sensitivities about Taiwan, and the Modi government has, in the past, been willing to support Beijing's "One China" policy, provided China supports "One India" policy.
Responding to the move, Taiwanese media slammed India's decision, calling it "kowtowing" to Beijing. Not to be outdone, Taiwan's Economic and Cultural Centre (TECC) in India also responded with a sharply worded statement expressing its "disappointment" at the state-owned Air India "succumbing to the unreasonable and absurd pressure from China". TECC representative, Chung Kwang Tien, urged Air India to stand up against China's bullying.
That's not all. The Taiwanese government went to the lengths of sending a formal letter of complaint to the MEA. In the letter, Taiwan said it hoped that the Indian government could provide adequate support to public services and businesses to protect them from a "foreign country's bully actions". Taiwan also urged "free and democratic nations" to work together to "protect their common values".