The Chinese Foreign Ministry said that the move by the three biggest US airlines to change how they refer to Taiwan on their booking websites was a positive development.
A check of the websites of American, Delta and United airlines last week showed only the airport code and city names of airports in Taiwan, without adding the name Taiwan behind them, as they did previously.
The airlines' move came right before Wednesday's deadline for the changes. But they didn't use the expression Taiwan, China, as many other foreign airlines did after the Civil Aviation Administration of China demanded on April 25 that 44 foreign airlines review their websites and apps to cease listing the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions and Taiwan as independent countries.
The administration said the practice was a violation of Chinese law and goes against the one-China policy. It also said penalties would be imposed if the airlines failed to comply by the deadline.
It is a positive development regarding the issue and we are aware of the progress the foreign airlines have made, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a regular news briefing in Beijing. He added that China is willing to share China's development opportunities with foreign companies and welcomes their investment and operations in China.
American Airlines spokeswoman Shannon Gilson admitted the company implemented the changes at China's request, and that it's in line with other carriers. Air travel is a global business, and we abide by the rules in countries where we operate, she said.
The one-China policy represents a wide consensus in the international community and is the political foundation for the steady development of China-US relations, and something that's not negotiable, Geng underlined.