The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) referred to Taiwan as a province of China in a press release forecasting the economic impact of the Wuhan coronavirus on international airlines, February 13.
Using the World Health Organization’s (WHO) freshly-designated name COVID-19, which was coined to avoid reference to the original source of the epidemic in a capital city of a province of China, the press release noted that 70 airlines have cancelled international flights to and from China, and that a further 50 have reduced flights.
Predicting a potential reduction of USD 4 to 5 billion dollars in operating revenues for affected airlines, the the report then pointed out that the estimates did not include a range of air services, including international traffic “with respect to the Hong Kong and Macau Special Administration regions of China or its Taiwan Province.”
After recently blocking debates in social media about Taiwan’s exclusion from ICAO and other sub-agencies of the United Nations, it was noted that ICAO was headed by Chinese-national Liu Fang (a graduate of Wuhan University), serving as Secretary General, with Legal Affairs and External Relations Bureau Director Huang Jiefang in support, and social media accounts managed by Qining Guang, also a Chinese national.
Under Chinese leadership, the “international” agency has consistently blocked Taiwan’s participation in global aviation meetings, despite Taiwan’s position as a major international air transportation hub in the Asia-Pacific region.
ICAO and WHO, have consistently refused to share information with Taiwan about the Wuhan Coronavirus, and instead, have used a Chinese-style rectification of names policy in an attempt to disassociate the epidemic’s origin in China, while promoting the idea that Taiwan is a province of the People’s Republic of China.
Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) recently stated in a press release:
“MOFA reiterates that Taiwan is an active and responsible member of the international civil aviation community, and that it therefore should not be prevented from taking part in ICAO so as to obtain complete and critical information pertaining to aviation safety and security in a timely manner. As a global and professional civil aviation organization, ICAO should remain neutral, refrain from political machinations, and refuse to act on political pressure brought to bear on it by any individual country. It should include Taiwan as soon as possible in the global aviation safety system, so as to realize its goals of a seamless sky and uniting aviation.”
The contacts related to the ICAO press release which misrepresented Taiwan as “China’s province” are:
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