May 25, 2018 / 2:34 PM / 3 months ago

Airlines comply with China's request to change description of territories

HONG KONG, May 25 (Reuters) - China’s aviation regulator said on Friday 18 out of 44 airlines it contacted have changed how they refer to Chinese territories on their websites by the 30-day deadline it set.

China’s civil aviation administration last month sent letters requesting airlines remove references on their websites or in other material that suggests Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau are part of countries independent from China, in a move described by the White House as “Orwellian nonsense.”

The letters were dated April 25 and airlines were given 30 days to comply, indicating a deadline of May 25.

26 airlines have asked for more time to comply due to technical issues, the aviation regulator said in a statement, while some airlines had promised to comply by July 25.

Australian airline Qantas Airways on Thursday said it had been given more time by the Chinese authorities.

Airlines such as Air Canada, Lufthansa and British Airways have made changes to their website descriptions, according to Reuters’ checks. The Taiwanese foreign ministry last week asked Air Canada for a “speedy correction” after the carrier made changes. (Reporting by Meg Shen; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

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