IHG Rewards Club has issued an update to its terms and conditions. And there’s only one change, repeated a few times in a few different ways. They want to make very sure you know that Taiwan is part of ‘Greater China’.
Marriott had their website and mobile app shut off by Chinese authorities in Shanghai for sending out a communication suggesting that Taiwan and Tibet were separate entities from China.
China’s civil aviation authority demanded a public apology from Delta and changes to its website for listing Tibet and Taiwan as countries.
Delta, which owns a stake in China Eastern and is working to establish Shanghai as a hub, described “an inadvertent error” and I wonder how Delta’s partner China Airlines feels about that.
American Airlines — which not only flies to Beijing and Shanghai but owns a stake in China Southern — lists Taiwan as a separate region from China in defining their award zones. Hong Kong is a separate region as well. They do not refer to these as countries.
Usually these lists are taken from international aviation organizations. One award chart once listed the Palestinian Territory as a destination even though Yasser Arafat International Airport in Gaza hasn’t served a commercial flight in over 16 years. I asked the airline if they could tell me what was and was not a part of Palestine and they quickly removed the reference.
Delta, United, and American may think that aviation shouldn’t be political (except when they want it to be) but clearly it’s unavoidably so.