Trump White House accuses China of 'Orwellian nonsense'

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in Beijing

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in Beijing Credit AFP

Sanders said the Trump administration was calling on Beijing "to stop threatening and coercing American carriers and citizens".

On April 25, the Chinese Civil Aviation Administration sent a letter to 36 foreign air carriers, including a number of American carriers.

"China's internal internet repression is world-famous", she added.

The US and China are competing against each other, and Taiwan could easily become the US' chess piece, the lawmaker said.

The carriers were told to remove references on their websites or in other material that suggests Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau are part of countries independent from China, the United States and airline officials have said.

In a letter to United cited by The Washington Post, the CAAC demanded the USA carrier change its website to label Taiwan "Chinese Taiwan" or "Taiwan: province/ region of China". The White House is pledging to start doing that now.

Last week, the famous American investor Warren Buffett predicted that despite the current tensions in relations between the United States and China, the probability of an all-out trade war between the two countries is very low.

The White House on Saturday condemned China's efforts to control how US airlines refer to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau, saying the push to make them comply with Chinese standards.

Unlike self-ruled Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau are Chinese territories operating with some degree of autonomy.

"Foreign enterprises operating in China should respect China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, abide by China's law and respect the national sentiment of the Chinese people", Mr. Geng said.

Nonetheless, Beijing remains adamant it will be one day reunited with the mainland.

The Camp is home to 4,000 US military personnel and the headquarters of US Africa Command in a move that infuriated the US, sparking fears from Washington that the Chinese were conjuring plans to escalate surveillance operations of US counterterrorism operations in Somalia and Yemen.

In January, Delta, following a demand from China over listing Taiwan and Tibet as countries on its website, apologized for making "an inadvertent error with no business or political intention", and said it had taken steps to resolve the issue.

Australian carrier Qantas, which also received the letters, had been referring to Taipei as part of Taiwan and was still doing so Monday in the drop-down menu in its booking engine.

The Chinese Government's push to pressure global companies against listing Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau as separate countries are a form of "sovereign righteousness" that may actually come from a factual point of view, said Dr Merriden Varrall, Director of East Asia Programs at the Lowy Institute.

The airline made changes after the initial letter in January that are understood to be accordance with Australian government policy.

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