U.S. slams China's demands of airlines as 'Orwellian nonsense'

United Airlines flight 897 lifts off from Dulles International Airport on its maiden flight from Washington DC to Beijing the first-ever nonstop flight between the two capitals

United Airlines flight 897 lifts off from Dulles International Airport on its maiden flight from Washington DC to Beijing the first-ever nonstop flight between the two capitals

Also in January, China suspended Marriott International's Chinese website for a week to punish the world's biggest hotel chain for listing Tibet, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau as separate countries in a customer questionnaire.

Director of China practice at Asialink Business, Nick Henderson, says sensitivities over Taiwan were not a new issue for foreign companies wanting to operate in China, and there had been many instances of companies facing a backlash from Chinese consumers and the government.

Hong Kong and Macau are special administrative regions of China, and have a certain level of autonomy apart from Beijing.

The US embassy posted on its official Weibo account the Mandarin translation of a White House statement that dismissed China's request to foreign air carriers as "Orwellian nonsense".

China's response on Sunday was to essentially say that foreign companies who want to operate within its borders need to play by its rules.

"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", Ms Sanders added.

"We can't go on that way", he said, although he also said he has a lot respect for Chinese president Xi Jinping.

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The White House statement came after Chinese Civil Aviation Administration sent a notice to 36 foreign airlines on April 25, asking them to comply with Beijing's standards of referring to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau as Chinese territories.

Saturday's White House statement is the strongest official USA response to the Chinese Communist Party's imposition of speech standards on foreign firms.

The harshly worded statement comes as a high-level trade delegation led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin returned from negotiations in China.

China's State Council Information Office took to Twitter on Monday, saying: "What if Chinese #airline companies list one of America's 50 states as a country?" Qantas' menu refers only to "Taipei, Taiwan".

At the same time, 64.4 percent of the respondents say that China's efforts to squeeze Taiwan in the worldwide community will only push Taiwan further away from it.

Commenting on the changing situation between Taiwan and China, Taiwan Thinktank researcher Tung Li-wen (董立文) said that over the past 30 years, China has always resorted to political bullying and saber-rattling to intimate Taiwan, triggering resentment among Taiwan's people and pushing them away from China.

The military argument between the two powerful countries is one of the most significant outside the South China Sea and the most serious in Africa and centres around Djibouti allowing China to build its first military base within 18 miles of Camp Lemonnier.

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