China on Tuesday defended its decision to ask Australia’s national flag carrier Qantas Airways to refer Taiwan as the Chinese territory, saying the area is part of the mainland under one-China policy.
Reacting to Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop’s remarks that private business should be able to conduct operations free from political pressure, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying said, “This is common sense. It is not procedure or technical issue. This is a political issue.”
“The notice of the relevant Chinese enterprises reflect China’s firm position on the one-China principle. The relevant requirement is legal and legitimate,” she told a media briefing when asked about Bishop’s remarks.
“So it is not political interference or political pressure. All foreign enterprises in China should abide by one-China principle. This is a basic requirement for them,” she said.
Qantas on Monday said it had decided to comply with China’s request to remove references on its websites and in other material that suggest Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau are part of countries independent from China.
Australia’s government already adheres to the one-China policy.
China in recent months has been enforcing the one-China policy rule on foreign firms invested and operated from the mainland.
The ties between China and Australia have strained in recent months after Canberra accused Beijing of interfering in its domestic affairs, a charge China denies.
The Australian government also announced plans to introduce tough new legislation to limit foreign influence, including a ban on offshore political donations. China denies the allegations of meddling in Australian affairs.