A deadline looms in China’s battle with foreign firms over Taiwan

WHEN it comes to asserting sovereignty over Taiwan, no fight is too small for Chinese officials. In January censors shut down the website of Marriott, a hotel chain, after it referred to Taiwan as well as Tibet, Hong Kong and Macau as countries in a customer survey. The site was unblocked only after the company’s chief executive issued a grovelling public apology. In April China complained about an online allusion to Taiwan as a country by organisers of the Man Booker prize for fiction (they eventually chose a fudge, listing the island instead as a “country/territory”). Gap, a fashion retailer, came under fire in May for selling a T-shirt with a map of China on it that did not include Taiwan. The firm responded by withdrawing the product and promising “rigorous reviews”.

China is still doing battle with international airlines. In April its civil aviation administration, CAAC, sent a letter to 44 of them, demanding that they specify Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau as being parts of China when…Continue reading

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