Photo shows a commemorative envelope themed on "Chinese air force conducts island patrols around Taiwan". The Chinese People's Liberation Army air force released a promotional video and commemorative envelopes, recapping its recent flights over China's island of Taiwan, on April 28, 2018. (Photo/Xinhua)
It is natural for the Civil Aviation Administration of China to require foreign airlines not to list the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions and Taiwan as though they are independent countries.
This may not seem to be a big deal to foreign airlines or hotel chains, who may wonder why they are being required to change their practice now. But when secessionists in Taiwan and Hong Kong are trying to split both regions from their motherland, the CAAC can no longer turn a blind eye to the errors of the airlines' ways.
Foreign airlines or hotels, whose listings may give the impression that Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao, are countries rather than regions, should amend the listings as it is important they abide by the laws and regulations of the country if they are doing business here. The same is also true of Chinese enterprises doing business overseas, which should abide by the laws of a country they are operating in.
As such, there is no need for any fuss about what the CAAC has required of foreign airlines and hotel chains. It is nothing but a reminder that they need to correct their mistake.
When the White House called the move "Orwellian nonsense" and said that the United States strongly objects to China's attempts to compel private companies to use specific language of a political nature in their publicly available content, it is simply trying to sensationalize the matter and putting its inflammatory two cents into something that does not concern it.
China did not and will never threaten and coerce U.S. carriers and citizens as the White House claimed, the CAAC just informed the carriers that they got it wrong when they refer to China's regions as a country.
It is the White House that is engaging in some doublespeak by trying to claim this is China imposing its political views on U.S. citizens, since it is the one trying to obscure the truth that these are all Chinese territories.
Referring to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao as countries does have political implications for China, but what happens between the CAAC and foreign airlines is only a matter of how the latter should abide by China's relevant rules and respect the core interest of this country.
Really, there is no need for the White House to even get involved, neither is it necessary for it to associate it with the larger picture of China-U.S. relations. Doing so only make an otherwise simple reminder much more complicated and adds to the complicatedness of the bilateral relations.