An Air New Zealand flight en route from Auckland to Shanghai was forced to turn around after several hours in the air because its paperwork included a reference to Taiwan, according to the news website Stuff.

The report, citing anonymous sources familiar with the matter, said Chinese officials had ordered the airline to remove all references suggesting that Taiwan was a country, but Air New Zealand’s application to allow the plane to land in China may have shown Taiwan as not being part of China.

The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner became the latest victim of what Taiwanese and international officials have alleged is a coordinated campaign by Beijing to limit Taiwan’s international space by forcing international corporations to recognize its claim of sovereignty over Taiwan, which has never been ruled by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).


Ladivaza9991 / CC BY-SA 4.0

You're grounded.

In 2018, several international airlines cooperated with China’s demands on how to refer to Taiwan on their lists of destinations after the U.S. White House ripped the Chinese efforts as “Orwellian nonsense.” Observers have expected the strategy of international suppression to continue into 2019.

Beijing and Auckland have downplayed the controversy, blaming the incident on faulty registration. A Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson said the flight returned to Auckland on its own accord.

China Airlines strike continues

A third round of negotiations between China Airlines and over 600 striking pilots has been ongoing since early Wednesday morning although no deal has been made.

China Airlines pilots have made several demands including a reduction in work hours and increase in staffing on long-haul flights, an increase in bonus pay, the replacement of poorly performing managers and a ban on retaliation against union members.

The talks began at 1 a.m. on the morning of Wednesday, Feb. 13 and were reportedly scheduled for that time so China Airlines negotiators could feel the exhaustion faced by their pilots.

CNA reported on Wednesday that progress has been made in the latest round of talks, although there is no indication that the two sides are close to striking a deal.


Credit: lasta29 / CC BY 2.0

The two sides have yet to reach a deal.

Other news from Taiwan:

► Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) has criticized the Philippines for deporting Taiwanese fraud suspects to China. The Philippines has deported Taiwanese suspects to both China and Taiwan in the past year. (Philippine Star)

► MOFA announced yesterday a series of events to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the U.S. Taiwan Relations Act – a foundation for U.S.-Taiwan relations after the U.S. switched diplomatic ties from Taipei to Beijing earlier in 1979. (Taipei Times)

► Strong winds are set to affect northern Taiwan, causing temperatures to drop to 20 to 22 degrees Celsius. (CNA)

► A Taiwanese man has been busted for possessing 6,850 fake Amiibo cards, which he was reportedly selling on Taobao. (Kotaku)

► A Hong Kong runner has completed a 1,400-kilometer run around Taiwan as he prepares to traverse the United States. We recommend not trying that during winter. (South China Morning Post)

Read Next: How Does Taiwan Really Feel About LGBT Issues After Its Referendums?

Editor: Nick Aspinwall (@Nick1Aspinwall)

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