China and the USA are battling it out over airline websites as Beijing attempts to force foreign companies to bend to its will on issues of territorial sovereignty.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Sunday: "No matter what the United States says, it can not change the objective fact that there is only one China in the world and that Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan regions are an integral part of the Chinese territory".
This development comes in the wake of a visit by a high-level US delegation led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to China, in a bid settle the ongoing trade disputes that emerged in the wake of US President Donald Trump's recently-introduced tariffs targeting China, which were met with retaliatory moves from the Asian country and have sent stock markets across the globe still lower. "Whatever the US said can not change the fact that there is only one China in the world and Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan are indispensable parts of Chinese territory", Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Geng Shuang stressed, adding that companies need to "respect the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity" and "respect the Chinese people's national sentiments".
The website of American Airlines changed its listing as of Monday to show Hong Kong and Macau as special administrative regions of China, and only classified Taiwan separately.
This year already, Mercedes Benz, Marriott Hotels, Zara, Delta Airlines and Muji have been forced to apologise or change online material that did not comply with Chinese policy.
"China's internal Internet repression is world-famous". A long list of pop stars have been banned for their support of Tibet.
US Navy reactivates Second Fleet amid Russian Federation tensions
The revived command will be stood up on July 1, and will initially have eleven officers and four enlisted personnel. Navy is re-establishing its 2nd Fleet command, which was eliminated in 2011 in a move to save costs.
In response to China's money diplomacy and its strategy of sending military aircraft and vessels to circle around Taiwan, 83.5 percent of the respondents contend that such means are not conducive to cross-strait ties and 63.7 percent say they have fueled tensions in the region.
In a letter to United cited by The Washington Post, the CAAC demanded the U.S. carrier change its website to label Taiwan "Chinese Taiwan" or "Taiwan: province/ region of China".
"Until now the parties involved have been able to agree on a workable solution and we hope that can continue". Most of these companies have said that it is a matter to be resolved by governments and that they should not be dragged into the controversy.
All but 19 countries officially recognise China and do not officially recognise Taiwan.
Almost 80 percent of Taiwanese people think China is unfriendly toward Taiwan, following a setback for Taiwan in a diplomatic tug-of-war with the mainland, according to the results of a survey released Friday.