White House slams China's demands to U.S. airlines as 'Orwellian nonsense'

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

The White House's statement, issued by Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, also framed criticism of the Chinese directive in terms of President Donald Trump's campaign against "political correctness in the United States", calling the Chinese statement an example of "efforts by the Chinese Communist Party to impose Chinese political correctness on American companies and citizens".

"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".

On Saturday, the Trump administration issued a strongly worded statement condemning recent guidance from the Chinese Civil Aviation Administration to foreign airlines.

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People hold up flags of the United States, China and Taiwan during Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen's stop-over after her visit to Latin America in Burlingame, California, Jan. 14, 2017. Now, China has warned worldwide airlines not to refer to any of the three as independent areas - a move which has angered the US.

The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) sent letters to 36 foreign airlines, including several USA carriers such as Delta Air Lines (DL, Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson) and American Airlines (AA, Dallas/Fort Worth), requiring that they change the way in which they reference Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau on their websites and promotional materials to comply with the One-China policy.

A USA delegation led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin met this week with business and government leaders in China.

Trump has already proposed tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese goods which could go into effect next month. China repsonded to those USA tariffs with reciprocal moves of its own.

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A spokesman for Airlines for America, a trade group representing United Airlines, American Airlines and other major carriers, said on Saturday it was working with the US government to determine "next steps" in the dispute. Delta Air Lines, hotel operator Marriott, fashion brand Zara and other companies have apologized to China for referring to Taiwan, semi-autonomous Hong Kong, and Tibet as countries on websites or promotional material. Hong Kong and Macau answer to Beijing, despite having different currencies, separate financial systems and elected legislators, while Taiwan is a democracy that has resisted rule by the mainland.

The foreign ministry in Beijing said Monday that all three places "are indivisible parts of China". "We urge foreign companies to respect China's territorial integrity and sovereignty, respect Chinese laws and the feelings of the Chinese people".

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

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