Beijing, July 5 (IANS) China on Thursday welcomed Indian flag carrier Air India’s decision to refer to self-ruled Taiwan as Chinese Taipei, saying foreign companies must respect the country’s sovereignty.
The Indian state-owned carrier is the latest to join international airlines in changing the name of the self-governed island after China’s civil aviation authority issued a formal communication to them.
“Our position on this issue is quite clear. The Indian side and other countries must be very clear with our position on this issue,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang.
“Air India respects the basic and common fact that there is only one China and Taiwan is part of it. We approve of that,” Lu added.
Until some time ago, Air India on its website called the island as Taiwan, which China considers a breakaway province and has vowed to unite it with mainland someday.
“I want to repeat that respecting China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and obeying Chinese law is the basic principle that foreign companies need to follow in China,” Lu said.
Taiwan is a democratic island to which then ruling Nationalists fled after they were defeated by the Communists in the civil war in China in 1949.
China resents any country keeping diplomatic ties with Taiwan and pressures those who have formal relations with it.
India has no diplomatic channels with Taiwan but the island has Taipei Economic and Cultural Centre in India.