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"This Has Become An Issue" - Beijing Denies US Request For Talks Over Airline Dispute
06-28-2018, 10:16 PM,
#1
"This Has Become An Issue" - Beijing Denies US Request For Talks Over Airline Dispute
"This Has Become An Issue" - Beijing Denies US Request For Talks Over Airline Dispute

<p><strong>President Trump's trade spat with China isn't the only source of tension between the world's two largest economies.</strong> Since even before Trump's inauguration, the US's relationship with Taiwan has become an increasingly sensitive issue in Beijing - particularly after Trump publicly mused about abandoning the US's long-standing "One China" policy. Beijing has retaliated by holding a massive live-fire exercise in the <a href="https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-04-18/largest-chinese-naval-drill-600-years-begins-live-fire-exercise-taiwan-strait">Strait of Taiwan</a> (showing off China's expanding military might). <strong>And in what looks like a test of corporate allegiance, Beijing has also instigated a mini-diplomatic crisis over its demands that foreign airlines refer to Taiwan on their websites as "Taiwan, China" - a request the White House has dismissed <a href="https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-06-05/orwellian-nonsense-qantas-caves-beijing-changes-references-taiwan">as "Orwellian nonsense."</a></strong></p>

<p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/sites/default/files/inline-images/2018.06.28China.JPG?itok=Jdc-DIIe" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/2018.06.28China.JPG?itok=Jdc-DIIe"><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="7f63c785-762b-46b5-ab85-a816fa7b945b" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="260" width="500" srcset="https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/2018.06.28China.JPG?itok=Jdc-DIIe 1x" src="https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/2018.06.28China.JPG" alt="China" typeof="foaf:Image" /></a></p>

<p>But Beijing isn't about to let this go: Already, Air Canada, Lufthansa, British Airways and other foreign airlines have acquiesced to China's demands, which also included making changes to references for Hong Kong and Macau. <strong>But Delta, United and other US carriers have requested an extension beyond Beijing's May 25 deadline for the changes to be instated. Their final deadline is July 25.</strong></p>

<p><a data-image-external-href="" data-image-href="/sites/default/files/inline-images/2018.06.28chinatwo.jpg?itok=jDjPfYG-" data-link-option="0" href="https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/2018.06.28chinatwo.jpg?itok=jDjPfYG-"><img data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="28cf5a7b-dd52-43ba-b9d9-fbc2225e8066" data-responsive-image-style="inline_images" height="258" width="500" srcset="https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/styles/inline_image_desktop/public/inline-images/2018.06.28chinatwo.jpg?itok=jDjPfYG- 1x" src="https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/2018.06.28chinatwo.jpg" alt="China" typeof="foaf:Image" /></a></p>

<p>And in a sign that the request has metastasized into a fully fledged policy dispute, China has reportedly rejected the US State Department's request for talks on the matter, <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trade-china-airlines-exclusive/exclusive-china-rejects-u-s-request-for-talks-on-airline-website-dispute-idUSKBN1JO0JP">Reuters</a> reported.</p>

<blockquote>
<p>In late May, the U.S. State Department presented China’s Foreign Ministry with a diplomatic note requesting consultations on the matter, but the ministry has since refused it, two sources briefed on the situation told Reuters.</p>

<p><strong>"This has definitely become a foreign policy issue,"</strong> one of the sources said on condition of anonymity, noting that the U.S. government did not view it as a technical matter for bilateral aviation cooperation.</p>

<p><strong>The spat had become "another grain of sand in the wound" amid escalating trade tensions</strong>, a second source said, referring to U.S. President Donald Trump’s threat to impose tariffs on billions of dollars worth of Chinese imports to punish Beijing for intellectual property abuses.</p>
</blockquote>

<p>While the State Department weighs its next move, US airlines are now caught in a difficult position. Beijing could deny them access to lucrative routes within China by revoking their operating permits - but making the requested changes without the White House's blessing could put them at odds with the US government.<strong> The CEO of Delta has said that the airline is working with the US government on the issue, but nobody has given any indication about where the talks are heading. </strong></p>

<blockquote>
<p>Delta’s chief executive, Ed Bastian, said at a forum in Washington on Wednesday that the airline was working with the U.S. government but would not say whether it would comply.</p>

<p><strong>"We’re working with the U.S. authorities on the topic and we’ll stay close to our U.S. government,"</strong> Bastian said, calling it a "good plan of action."</p>

<p>The chief executive of United Airlines, Oscar Munoz, told Reuters in Washington on June 7 that the website issue was a <strong>"government-to-government diplomatic issue and again we’ll see what comes out of that and we’ll react accordingly."</strong></p>

<p>Asked if he would defer to the White House, Munoz said that “I fly to both places and I am deferential to our customers, and again this is not something I am going to solve”.</p>

<p>American Airlines said in early June that it had not made changes on its website, and that it was following the direction of the U.S. government.</p>
</blockquote>

<p>While US airlines insist the issue should be ironed out "between governments", by refusing to engage, China could be trying to make an important point: <strong>US companies can be bent to Beijing's will if their profits are threatened. </strong></p><img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~4/2Sf33C62RcQ" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>


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