US slams China over bid to police websites

US slams China over bid to police websites

Also in January, China suspended Marriott International's Chinese website for a week to punish the world's biggest hotel chain for listing Tibet, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau as separate countries in a customer questionnaire.

The carriers were ordered to remove references on websites or in other material that suggests Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau are part of countries independent from China, according to U.S. officials.

China's top diplomat, Yang Jiechi, and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday discussed bilateral ties by phone, with Yang saying relations were at "an important stage", according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong, a British colony until 1997, and Macau, a Portuguese colony until 1999, are now "special administrative regions" of China. While some say it is a typical move from the Chinese to use strong words and coerce others, there are others who feel that - whether correct or not - China's move is hardly surprising considering its position towards the three regions.

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The government of Chinese President Xi Jinping has been increasingly assertive about its claims to Taiwan, which it has threatened to invade to bring under its control.

"He will stand up for Americans resisting efforts by the Chinese Communist Party to impose political correctness on American companies and citizens", she concluded.

The statement added that the Chinese Civil Aviation Administration sent a notice to 36 foreign air carriers, including a number of American carriers, on April 25, asking them to comply with Beijing's standards.

The spat comes shortly after a high-level US delegation returned from two days in Beijing with little to show for talks aimed at averting a trade war between the world's two biggest economies.

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Also on Saturday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke with a member of the Communist Party leadership.

But he mentioned that it is worth noting that 30.5 percent of the people surveyed agree that Taiwan should accept the "1992 consensus" under Beijing's "one China principle", while 29 percent blame the Taiwan government for undermining ties between the two sides.

Australian carrier Qantas is among the airlines told to change how they refer to Taiwan, prompting comments from Foreign Minister Julie Bishop that any such pressure is inappropriate.

It wasn't clear what China had demanded Qantas do, or what the penalties for non-compliance might be.

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The military argument between the two powerful countries is one of the most significant outside the South China Sea and the most serious in Africa and centres around Djibouti allowing China to build its first military base within 18 miles of Camp Lemonnier. Washington acknowledges Beijing's position that there is one China that includes Taiwan and the United States takes no stance on that question.

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