Published: Tue, May 08, 2018
World | By Camille Rivera

China hits back after Trump blasted Beijing for bullying American companies

China hits back after Trump blasted Beijing for bullying American companies

Spokesperson Geng Shuang noted that no matter what the US side says, it will not change the fact that there is only one China and that Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan are inalienable parts of China.

China's initial request asked global airlines to remove references on their websites, or in other material, that suggests Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau are in any way independent from China.

Director of China practice at Asialink Business, Nick Henderson, says sensitivities over Taiwan were not a new issue for foreign companies wanting to operate in China, and there had been many instances of companies facing a backlash from Chinese consumers and the government. Hong Kong and Macau answer to Beijing despite having different currencies and local governments, while Taiwan is a democracy that has resisted rule by the mainland.

Sanders said the Trump administration was calling on Beijing "to stop threatening and coercing American carriers and citizens". "This respect is essential for a robust global marketplace", she said.

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The government of Chinese President Xi Jinping has been increasingly assertive about its claims to Taiwan, which it has threatened to invade to bring under its control.

Those airlines included American carriers, and the White House response on Saturday was swift, reports Reuters.

The move came after the USA and China held high-stakes trade talks in Beijing aimed at forestalling a looming conflict between the world's two largest economies.

Also on Saturday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke with a member of the Communist Party leadership.

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It wasn't clear what China had demanded Qantas do, or what the penalties for non-compliance might be.

Labor's foreign affairs spokeswoman, Penny Wong, said it was "entirely a matter for Qantas, or any other company, how it chooses to best promote the destinations it flies to".

Meanwhile, Wang Yi-kai, a Taiwanese social activist, who launched the satirical "Apologise to China" contest on Facebook in 2016, said that amid rising nationalist sentiment, even those foreign companies that abided with Beijing's one-China policy would find themselves being reprimanded for some other misdemeanour. The Dominican Republic switched its official recognition from Taipei to Beijing last week, leaving the island with just 19 diplomatic allies.

The White House's use of George Orwell, who wrote Animal Farm and 1984 in the 1940s, to attack China reflects the view of some in the USA who stubbornly equate China to the centralised regime of the Soviet Union, Chinese tabloid Global Times commented, adding that they have ignored the fact China has always been a much more diverse nation with a socialist market economy system. This act has caused criticism from both Taiwan and the United States.

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