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Taiwan Thanks White House for Standing Up to China

White House Economic advisor Larry Kudlow reacted to the stock market jitters following China’s decision to levy tariffs on American products in response to President Donald Trump’s tough actions on China.
AFP/Nicolas ASFOURI

TAIPEI, TAIWAN — Taiwan on Sunday thanked the White House for standing up to China, after Beijing threatened U.S. airlines to change the way they listed Taiwan on their websites.

“Thank you @WhiteHouse for standing up to the pressure on #Taiwan. We’ll continue making contributions to the international community despite the actions of #China,” Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs tweeted.

China’s Civil Aviation Administration (CAA) last month quietly sent a letter to three dozen international airlines, including a number from the U.S., ordering them to describe Taiwan as part of China instead of a separate country.

China has long maintained that Taiwan is part of China and will eventually be reunified with the mainland, while Taiwan considers itself a separate country the Republic of China. The U.S. acknowledges China’s position, but does not take a stance on the Taiwan’s status.

China has increasingly asserted its position on the global stage. Beijing has blocked for a second year in a row Taiwan’s attendance as an observer at the upcoming World Health Assembly in late May.

Lately, Beijing has turned its attention to getting international companies to describe Taiwan as part of China. The pressure has been working with some companies. In January, Zara, Marriott, Qantas, and Delta Air Lines all deleted references to Taiwan as a country, according to Business Insider.

On Saturday, the White House issued a sharp rebuke to China’s letter.

“This is Orwellian nonsense and part of a growing trend by the Chinese Communist Party to impose its political views on American citizens and private companies,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement.

“China’s internal Internet repression is world-famous. China’s efforts to export its censorship and political correctness to Americans and the rest of the free world will be resisted,” she continued.

China’s foreign ministry responded Monday that foreign companies doing business in China must respect the “national feelings” of the Chinese people.

However, the White House’s strong statement was praised by some China experts.

One journalist noted: “Have to say, I can’t imagine another administration saying this to China. And many China hands would say this kind of response has been long overdue.”

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