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China insists U.S. airlines describe Taiwan as part of China

Why a trade war with China is dangerous

China says there will be "no room for negotiation" in its demand that U.S. airlines describe self-ruled Taiwan as part of China ahead of a deadline this week.

Beijing has insisted that carriers change references to Taiwan on their websites to "Taiwan, China" by Wednesday. Taiwan separated from China amid civil war in 1949 but Beijing continues to claim it as its own territory.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Tuesday that China hopes the U.S. government will urge businesses to follow China's requirements. He did not specify how China would punish defiant carriers, saying only that it will "wait and see."

China's Civil Aviation Administration demanded the change from 36 foreign airlines in May, including some American carriers, according to the White House.

President Donald Trump will "stand up for Americans resisting efforts by the Chinese Communist Party to impose Chinese political correctness on American companies and citizens," press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders responded at the time.

The White House also criticized the Chinese demand as "Orwellian nonsense."

Beijing is intensely sensitive about the status of Taiwan, the self-ruled island the communist mainland claims as part of its territory, and of Tibet.

It regularly lashes out at publishers of books, maps or software that depict Taiwan as an independent country. Gap was forced to apologize in May for printing T-shirts displaying a map of China without Taiwan, saying it "respects China's sovereignty and territorial integrity," according to a tweet by the People's Daily, the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party. 

Earlier this year, Marriott apologized after sending a survey to customers asked in which country they lived and gave options including Tibet, Taiwan and Hong Kong. "We absolutely will not support any separatist organization that will undermine China's sovereignty and territorial integrity," the company said in a statement.