Taiwan Considers Changing Name of China Airways Due to Virus

The island of Taiwan is currently debating changing the name of China Airlines, due to the confusion and panic over the coronavirus outbreak, which started in Wuhan, China.

When Taiwan used China Airlines, the state’s largest airline, to ship supplies such as face masks to infected European countries, the materials were mistakenly believed to have been sent from mainland China. However, Air China is the major airline of mainland China, not China Airways.

“When China Airlines delivered materials this time, the whole world thanked Taiwan,” Taiwanese Premier Su Tseng-chang said on Tuesday. “But because China Airlines has the word ‘China’ on its fuselage, some countries, people and pictures mistakenly thought that China had sent them the masks, causing us a lot of grief.”

Not helping matters is the fact that the self-ruled, democratically governed island’s official name is the Republic of China, even though the island is located over 1,000 miles off the coast of mainland China and has reported less than 400 cases of coronavirus. According to FOX News, the current outbreak has prompted Taiwan to further assert its independence, though China still considers Taiwan to be part of the country.

While Taiwan continues to debate changing the name of China Airways, efforts have been made to make the airline’s Taiwanese roots more obvious, including placing more symbols of Taiwan and adding the word “Taiwan” on the airline’s planes.

“It is now in the process of being studied and discussed internally with an open mind,” China Airlines said in a statement to Reuters.

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