Taiwanese-Canadians Protest Air Canada's Listing Taiwan as Part of China

By On June 16, 2018

Taiwanese-Canadians Protest Air Canada's Listing Taiwan as Part of China

A group of Taiwanese-Canadians gathered in front of Air Canada’s headquarters in Montreal on Thursday to protest the airline’s 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.

Protesters voice their objection to Air Canada’s move to list Taiwan as part of China on its website, in front of the airline’s headquarters in Montreal on June 14, 2018. (Yi Ke/The Epoch Times)

“This is an assault on Canadian dignity an d Canadian sovereignty,” 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.

“They try to extend the Chinese so-called law…into Canada, and forcing a Canadian corporation to obey their orders outside of China,” Stainton said.

Beijing considers Taiwan as one of China’s 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 (CCP’s) line on Taiwan, risking great financial risk if they don’t comply.

The White House has condemned Beijing’s move in a statement issued on May 6, calling it “Orwellian nonsense,” and “part of a growing trend by the Chinese Communist Party to impose its political views on American citizens and private companies.”

Protesters voice their objection to Air Canada’s move to list Taiwan as part of China on its website, in front of the airline’s headquarters in Montreal on June 14, 2018. (Yi Ke/The Epoch Times)

“The United States strongly objects to China’s attempts to compel private firms to use specific language of a political nature in their publicly available content,” reads a statement issued by the White House.

The protesters in Montreal asked that the Canadian government “stop pretending that this is a purely commercial matter and stand up to China,” and for Air Canada to resist China’s demands.

“We have to defend Canada’s values like freedom, free speech, and also democracy and human rights. That’s the Canadian values,” 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 Taiwan’s foreign ministry, which berated Air Canada for bowing to Beijing’s 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 company’s policy “is to comply with all requirements in all worldwide jurisdictions to which we fly,” according to The Canadian Press.

Stainton says the federal government should step in so companies feel more supported in resisting Beijing’s pressure.

Last week, Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop voiced her objection to China for pressuring Australia n airline Qantas Airways to list Taiwan as part of China.

“If I was Mr. [Calin] Rovinescu, the [CEO] of Air Canada, and the Canadian government wasn’t standing behind me and saying ‘no, don’t do this, we will support you,’ then I would probably do the same thing,” Stainton said.

A number of airline companies in the United States and Japan have resisted Beijing’s pressure to list Taiwan as part of China’s territory.

(L-R) Albert J.F. Lin, Jianming Chen, president of the Taiwanese Canadian Association of Greater Montreal, Michael Stainton president of the Taiwanese Human Rights Association of Canada, Edward Chung, a convener for the Association of Taiwanese Organizations in Toronto. Protesters gathered in front of Air Canada’s headquarters in Montreal on June 14, 2018 t o voice their objection to the airline’s move to list Taiwan as part of China on its website. (Yi Ke/The Epoch Times)

In a statement posted on their Facebook page, Stainton’s organization THRAC asks Air Canada to follow the lead of these companies.

“We 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 China’s illegal pretensions.”

With reporting by Yi Ke and Tanya Du.

Source: Google News Taiwan | Netizen 24 Taiwan

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