Taiwan Parliament on Wednesday, July 22, approved an adjustment of the china Airlines brand. Starting with an attachment of Taiwanese graphics symbol to the planes to underline the airline’s identity and later on, the Minister of Transportation will make proposals for the renaming.
The decision came after deliveries of coronavirus protective aids from Taiwan to Europe was wrongly assigned in April.
China Airline is not the Peoples Republic of China airline but the National airline of the Republic of China known as Taiwan.
China Airlines was founded in Taiwan in 1959 and flies out of Taipei’s Taoyuan International Airport, servicing 160 destinations in 29 countries. The majority shareholder is the China Aviation Development Foundation, which is wholly owned by the Taiwanese government.
Why the change of name now?
The argument for rebranding gained strength in recent months over fears a series of China Airlines’ cargo flights, used to deliver coronavirus medical supplies around the world, were mistakenly thought to be coming from mainland China.
The island’s citizens were enraged and a petition requesting the name change was initiated on Change.org. As of July 23, more than 50,000 people have signed.
This isn’t the first time the airline’s moniker has come into the spotlight, though.
A few Taiwan companies with the word China in their names including China Airlines were asked to change their names when Chen Shui-bian was the island’s president in the early 2000s.
The topic resurfaced again in 2016 under Tsai Ing-wen’s leadership.
Taiwan’s official name is the “Republic of China” (ROC), tracing its founding to 1911 on the Chinese mainland after the collapse of China’s last imperial dynasty.
Mainland China and Taiwan have been governed separately since 1949 following the Communist victory on the mainland after a civil war, although a shared cultural and linguistic heritage mostly endures.
But China considers Taiwan to be an integral part of its territory, and comes down hard on any suggestions to the contrary, even where matters of aviation are concerned.
In 2018, Beijing demanded global airlines change how they refer to Taiwan on their websites or risk sanctions. In response, the White House issued a scathing statement criticizing Beijing for pressuring US carriers and other companies on this issue.
In the end, multiple airlines, including US carriers American Airlines and Delta, complied with the order.
“Note that China Airlines has no comments on this topic at the moment,” Jason Liu, vice president of China Airlines’ corporate communications office, revealed via an email.