S Korean airline hailed by Chinese netizens for changing Taiwan category

Updated 2018-05-09 10:17:01

Korean airline company Asiana Airlines has placed Taiwan under the category Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan on its website, in contrast with U.S. airline companies.

Asiana Airlines recently moved Taiwan from the "Southeast Asia" category into the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan category.

The move came after the White House recently indicated that American citizens and private companies would not list Taiwan, Hong Kong and Maca0 as part of China.

Many Chinese netizens hailed the move by Asiana Airlines, with many saying they are making the right decision and that it could encourage more tourism to South Korea.

"Do not try to follow the U.S. in every matter. The U.S. only wants to irritate China but it knows the Chinese mainland and Taiwan markets well. South Korea is smarter," read one comment on Sina Weibo.

It is normal to see that South Korea isn't following the U.S. in the Taiwan question, Lü Chao, a research fellow at the Liaoning Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

South Korea, a U.S. military ally, has placed much more importance on Sino-South Korean ties recently, which has seen an improvement after South Korean President Moon Jae-in took office, Lü said.

South Korea cannot risk suffering economic losses again as it has learned from previous lessons, such as tensions over THAAD and the boycott of Lotte Group, he added.

The Chinese Civil Aviation Administration released a notice in April asking foreign air carriers - including a number of American airlines - to stop referring to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao as separate countries.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told the press on Sunday that foreign firms operating in China should respect the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and observe Chinese laws and respect the feelings of the Chinese people.

Japan Airlines, however, still puts Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan in a position equivalent to China's.

U.S. airline companies, including American Airlines and United Airlines, that list Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao as separate nations remained unchanged as of press time.

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