China Accuses Four U.S. Airlines Of Non-Compliance For Changing ‘Taiwan’ To ‘China’, Threatens Fines


The aviation authorities of China announced that four US airlines have missed a deadline to change the naming of Taiwan on their website and threatens fines for non-compliance.

American, Delta, Hawaiian and United have already changed how they refer to self-governed Taiwan on their websites but the Chinese Aviation authority says the changes are incomplete, although doesn’t specify why they aren’t satisfied.

China has repeatedly bullied international airlines to make adjustments on their website and not not refer to independent Taiwan as a non-Chinese territory. This week the Civil Aviation Authority of China issued a notice threatening consequences as the U.S. carriers supposedly haven’t complied with their demands.

The notice (translated) reads:

As of July 25, all 44 foreign airlines involved in the rectification have been rectified, of which 40 have been completed. The Civil Aviation Administration of China affirmed the relevant foreign airlines’ adherence to the one-China principle and timely rectification.

Four airlines, including United Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and Hawaiian Airlines, submitted a rectification report to the bureau on July 25, indicating that the content of the rectification is being launched, and they are invited to the Civil Aviation Administration for two weeks. After reviewing his official website.

After verification, the official website has indeed started to rectify, but the content of the rectification is still incomplete. Our bureau will pay close attention and decide whether to start the corresponding civil aviation management procedures as appropriate.

This is how the airlines currently show Taipei, Taiwan on their website and search results:

  • United: San Francisco, CA, US (SFO) to Taipei (TPE – Taoyuan)
  • America: Tokyo, Japan to Taipei
  • Delta: Los Angeles, CA to Taipei
  • Hawaiian doesn’t even feature Taiwan on their website as either country setting or destination.

United does however refer to the country as Taiwan in the country setting:

In any case this sabre rattling is just following an established pattern of bullying and petty grievance from the Chinese government. The notice doesn’t even specify what exactly it is they’re unsatisfied with once again. Especially the case with Hawaiian doesn’t make any sense.


The airlines should ignore such silly requests and lobby the U.S. government to take retaliatory measures against Chinese carriers should there be any fines levied against them. Bowing to these demands over the years just leads to more bold requests and the government has to put a stop to it.

There are way more Chinese carriers flying to the U.S. than the other way around where the U.S. Department of Transportation and the FAA could pull the screws tighter in terms of regulation, aircraft inspection related to airworthiness and eventually fines as well.