Taiwanese-Canadians Protest Air Canada's Listing Taiwan as Part of China
A group of Taiwanese-Canadians gathered in front of Air Canadaâs headquarters in Montreal on Thursday to protest the airlineâs move to list Taiwan as part of China on its website.
The airline is one of several other airlines around the world that followed a demand by the Chinese communist regime to remove any references on their websites or promotional material that imply Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macao are not part of China.
âThis is an assault on Canadian dignity an d Canadian sovereignty,â said Michael Stainton, president of the Taiwanese Human Rights Association of Canada (THRAC). The protest, attended by people from Montreal, Toronto, and Ottawa, was organized by the Taiwanese Canadian Association (TCA), and supported by several other groups including the THRAC.
âThey try to extend the Chinese so-called lawâ¦into Canada, and forcing a Canadian corporation to obey their orders outside of China,â Stainton said.
Beijing considers Taiwan as one of Chinaâs provinces that should be under the control of the Chinese communist regime. Taiwan, a self-ruled island, considers itself independent of the regime.
Several other airlines and companies, including airlines in the United States, Australia, and Japan, have received notice from Beijing to heed the Chinese Communist Party (CCPâs) line on Taiwan, risking great financial risk if they donât comply.
The White House has condemned Beijingâs move in a statement issued on May 6, calling it âOrwellian nonsense,â and âpart of a growing trend by the Chinese Communist Party to impose its political views on American citizens and private companies.â
âThe United States strongly objects to Chinaâs attempts to compel private firms to use specific language of a political nature in their publicly available content,â reads a statement issued by the White House.
The protesters in Montreal asked that the Canadian government âstop pretending that this is a purely commercial matter and stand up to China,â and for Air Canada to resist Chinaâs demands.
âWe have to defend Canadaâs values like freedom, free speech, and also democracy and human rights. Thatâs the Canadian values,â said Edward Chung, a convener for the Association of Taiwanese Organizations in Toronto, one the groups joining the Thursday protest.
The issue also drew the ire of Taiwanâs foreign ministry, which berated Air Canada for bowing to Beijingâs pressure on the issue of Taiwan.
The Epoch Times approached Air Canada for comments but no response was provided by press time. An Air Canada spokesperson stated previously that the companyâs policy âis to comply with all requirements in all worldwide jurisdictions to which we fly,â according to The Canadian Press.
Stainton says the federal government should step in so companies feel more supported in resisting Beijingâs pressure.
Last week, Australiaâs Foreign Minister Julie Bishop voiced her objection to China for pressuring Australia n airline Qantas Airways to list Taiwan as part of China.
âIf I was Mr. [Calin] Rovinescu, the [CEO] of Air Canada, and the Canadian government wasnât standing behind me and saying âno, donât do this, we will support you,â then I would probably do the same thing,â Stainton said.
A number of airline companies in the United States and Japan have resisted Beijingâs pressure to list Taiwan as part of Chinaâs territory.
In a statement posted on their Facebook page, Staintonâs organization THRAC asks Air Canada to follow the lead of these companies.
âWe realize that this issue is larger than Air Canada, so we urge you to use the leadership skills of your CEO and your board to organize an alliance of all affected airlines to stand together against Chinaâs illegal pretensions.â
With reporting by Yi Ke and Tanya Du.Source: Google News Taiwan | Netizen 24 Taiwan