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Taiwanese-Canadian Association calls for boycott of Air Canada

2018/05/19 20:13:44

Image courtesy of Taiwanese-Canadian Association

Toronto, May 18 (CNA) Douglas Chiang (江文基), president of the Taiwanese-Canadian Association (TCA) has called for a complete boycott of Air Canada, which recently chose to change its designation of Taiwan to "Taiwan, China" on its website.

In an interview with CNA on Friday, Chiang said the TCA has asked members of all Taiwanese associations around the world and their families and friends to boycott the services of the Canadian flag carrier.

The name change, which took place on Monday, came in response to a letter sent by China's Civil Aviation Administration in late April that pressured 36 American and international airlines to remove references to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau as countries on their websites and in their marketing materials.

Beijing gave recipients of the letters 30 days to comply or risk facing penalties.

Now that Air Canada has caved in to China's wishes, Chiang is asking the thousands of members of Taiwanese associations who will be flying to Japan for the annual meeting of the World Federation of Taiwanese Associations as well as those attending regional meetings in Canada, the U.S. and Europe to refuse to fly with the airline.

Former TCA President Lo I-shih (羅益世) contended however, that Air Canada must have weighed the consequences of Beijing's penalties against Taiwan's economic boycott and found the latter to be easier to face.

He suggested other actions that might have an impact would be for Taiwanese-Canadians to contact local representatives in Canada, submitting opinion pieces to the media, expressing their thoughts on social media and calling the airline to protest.

The strongest move would be to write an official letter to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to firmly state that "Taiwan is not a part of China," Lo said.

The Canadian government addressed the issue on Tuesday, saying that its long-standing position on Taiwan's designation has not changed, regardless of Air Canada's decision.

It also said it did not want to see China place pressure on private enterprises to change the name of Taiwan.

(By Hu Yu-li and Kuan-lin Liu)