Taiwan Reportedly Unhappy That Singapore Airlines Group Carriers List Taipei As Part Of China

Flag carrier Singapore Airlines has found itself tangled in a decades-long diplomatic row, all because it complied with a directive by China’s aviation regulator.

That directive instructed airlines to remove any suggestion that Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau are countries independent of China.

Both Singapore Airlines (SIA) and Scoot complied with the request on 11 June.

“We had received a formal letter from the Civil Aviation Administration of China, and the changes were made in response to the request,” a spokesman told The Straits Times.


In response, Taiwan has allegedly called on its citizens to boycott SIA and other airlines that complied with the directive.

The Financial Times quotes Mr David Lee, secretary-general of Taiwan’s National Security Council, as saying,

We will tell our people: ‘Those are the airlines that caved in to China, it is your choice [whether to use them].

Singapore Airlines and Scoot operate more than 60 flights a week to Taiwan.

Echoing Mr Lee, Mr Francis Liang, Taiwan representative in Singapore noted that most Taiwanese travel on the two carriers.

“They would not be happy” he said, implying that Singapore Airlines and Scoot would lose passengers.

Those passengers will not be short of options: Changi Airport is also served by two major Taiwanese carriers, EVA Air and China Airlines.

Between them, they operate 30 flights between Singapore and Taiwan.

Not everybody complied

Interestingly, Jetstar Asia is now the sole Singapore-based carrier that reflects Taiwan’s independence.

It isn’t clear if Chinese regulators issued the directive to the low-cost carrier as well.

Why the fuss?

Not sure what’s going on between Taiwan and China? Here’s the tl;dr version:

The two states have been governed separately since the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949.

China views Taiwan as a renegade province that will be brought back under the mainland’s control soon.

But Taiwan’s president Dr Tsai Ing-wen has other plans. Together with her Democratic Progressive Party, she advocates eventual independence from the mainland.

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