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Taiwan Tussle: U.S.-based airlines face deadline set by China over References to Iceland



US-based airlines in China could face Internet trouble, snubs from Chinese ticket brokers and state-sanctioned boycotts if they do not follow them on their websites by Wednesday.

One day before the deadline, American Airlines, Delta and United States demanded to refer to the island as "China Taiwan."

The Trump administration has therefore opposed the demand, first made by Beijing in

Chinese officials warned Tuesday defiance by US airlines could further hurt "the stable development" of Sino-American relations at a time when the world's two largest economies were locked in an increasingly costly trade.

The Taiwanese Federal Republic of China carries out its "one-China" policy.

Taiwan split from China after Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalist Party fled to the island in 1

949 after losing a civil war to Mao Zedong's Communists. Taiwan and China have held talks in recent years, but remain deeply at odds.

"We hope that the U.S. Government seeks to ensure that the companies concerned are abreast of the one-China policy and make improvements to their websites as soon as possible, "Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters.

. airline executives have said they are working with the White House on the matter, offering few clues on which direction.

The State Department on Tuesday showed no sign of backing down.

"We have told China that the United States has made several attempts at China's attempts." to compel private firms to use specific words of a political nature in their publicly available content, "a spokesperson for the US Embassy in Beijing said.

About two months ago, the Civil Aviation Administration of China sent a letter to foreign national airlines requesting them to switch to their destination language to "China Taiwan" or the "China Taiwan region "- or else.

Xi Jinping's government increasingly wields its commercial power to influence foreign policy goals.

Firms have rapidly lost access to the lucrative Chinese market – including The Gap, which apologized to China after selling shirts without Taiwan.

Japan Air Lines, British Airways and Australia's Qantas conceded to Beijing's wishes, while the Trump administration has called China's threat "Orwellian nonsense."

Ultimately, U.S.

Corrine Png, a Singapore aviation consultant who formerly led Asia-Pacific Transportation Research for J.P. Morgan, said China could not make bookings on their planes.

"This tactic has proven highly effective against South Korea and Taiwan in the past," Png said, "impacting not

"Punitive measures are a certainty," said Yang Lixian, deputy secretary general of the National Society of Taiwan Studies in Beijing. The Taiwanese description is a public provocation by the United States. side to test China's limits. "

The country's attempt to control the message on U.S. Cheng Li, director of the John L. Thornton China Center at the Brookings Institution in Washington, said Xi's broader goal to assert China's power on the global stage.

"Xi wants to be tough on the Taiwan issue," Li said. "It's a challenge to China's national sovereignty."

The aviation tensions flare less than three weeks after the United States officially ignited a trade with China, slapping tariffs on $ 34 billion in Chinese goods. Beijing swiftly responded with duties on an equal amount of American products.

Trump has threatened to impose levies on an additional $ 200 billion in Chinese imports as early as September.

Amber Wang contributed from Beijing.