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Taiwan considers rebranding its flag carrier, China Airlines

Jack Burton

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Taiwan considers rebranding its flag carrier, China Airlines | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Wikicommons
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Taipei is considering changing the name of its flag carrier: China Airlines. Perhaps an opportunistic excuse to distance itself from any anti-Chinese ‘Covid’ fallout or just a political ploy whilst China has, well, other things to worry about at the moment.

It seems the Covid-19 pandemic has reignited calls to change the name after the airline sent a series of cargo flights to deliver medical supplies to assist in coronavirus aid efforts around the world. Despite its proximity to the mainland, Taiwan has reported fewer than 400 confirmed coronavirus cases, and netizens on the island are concerned that people will associate the airline with mainland China, not Taiwan, due to its name. And officials at the carrier don’t appear opposed to the idea of the change either.

“Recently, the public has expressed various diverse and lively opinions on the company. Due to the wide range of issues involved, the company has started internal discussions and research with an open attitude.”

China Airlines was founded in Taiwan in 1959 and serves 160 destinations in 29 countries. The majority shareholder is the China Aviation Development Foundation, wholly owned by the Taiwanese government.

The People’s Republic of China considers Taiwan a renegade province. Taiwan’s official name is the “Republic of China”, which was founded in 1911 on the mainland after the collapse of China’s last imperial dynasty, and fled to Taiwan after the 1949 Communist revolution.

Tuesday, Taiwan’s premier responded to public calls for a name change during a media briefing in Taipei.

“The issue of changing China Airlines’ name is not that simple. But distinguishing Taiwan is indeed something that should be done, and the government will do it step by step.”

His comments follow a Facebook post on Saturday from Taiwan’s Minister of Transportation and Communications, who suggested he’d be open to working with the airline on a name change, though he acknowledged they would require a public consensus to go through with it.

A petition requesting the name change was initiated two months ago on Change.org. As of yesterday, it had more than 50,000 signatures.

“It makes sense to pursue this now”

One Singapore-based aviation analyst says that, should the name change actually get the green light, “it wouldn’t be that difficult to implement.”

“You can change your brand name without necessarily changing the name of the parent company or your legal corporate name.”

“That would allow the airline to avoid complications relating to issues like leasing agreements and airport slots, but it is still a big undertaking from a marketing perspective.”

In fact, he says, now might be an ideal time to go through with it, as airlines restructure and adapt in the coming months.

“This provides an interesting window for China Airlines to change its name or brand as it looks at other potential strategic adjustments… it makes sense to pursue this now.”

China considers Taiwan an integral part of its territory, and comes down hard on any suggestions to the contrary, even where aviation is concerned.

In 2018, China demanded global airlines change how they refer to Taiwan on their websites or face sanctions. In response, the White House issued a scathing statement criticising Beijing for pressuring US carriers and other companies on the issue.

But in the end, multiple airlines, including American Airlines and Delta, complied.

SOURCE: CNN

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

Politics

Companies pull out from Trump brand after storming of Capitol incident

The Thaiger

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Companies pull out from Trump brand after storming of Capitol incident | The Thaiger

Corporate America is adding its weight in response to the insurgency at the Capitol building on January 6, and are pulling out from any association with the Trump brand after the storming of the capitol incidentwhich economists say will have a profound medium and long-term effect on his business interests. Recently, Signature Bank closed Trump’s personal accounts and the PGA of America stopped plans to hold its 2022 championship at Mr. Trump’s New Jersey golf course.

Such a parting of ways signals the business community’s weariness in being associated with a political figure that has attracted worldwide attention and is indicative of what may happen to the Trump brand. The president’s role in the incident, confirmed by his impeachment by the House this week, has gained criticism from the Business Roundtable to the AFL-CIO labour federation.

Michael D’Antonio, the author of a Trump biography, says the capitol incident has been a game-changer for the support of extreme politics.

“Trump’s name is really an albatross. He is the most disgraced president in history. This is a person who’s synonymous with a mob attacking the US Capitol. I just think this went a step too far.”

Other experts like Tim Calkins, a marketing professor at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, say Trump’s brand will inevitably suffer long-term.

“Before his term, Trump stood for wealth, success and over-the-top luxury. Now the brand has associations with anti-government views, racism and extremism. This makes the brand fairly toxic.”

Deutsche Bank, to which Trump reportedly owes around $400 million, is also planning to stop engaging in business with him. But the president dismissed any business challenges in an October 15 televised event by saying that the $400 million he owed was “a tiny percentage of my net worth.”

It appears true that some of Trump’s properties have benefitted from his presidency as taxpayer revenue has continuously flowed into his golf courses and clubs where he stays with his family, the secret service and the White House staff.

In fact, CREW estimates that Trump’s properties took in over $100 million from more than 500 visits by the president, according to a report in September 2020. But even that business transaction has received widespread criticism as many say Trump should not have mixed politics with his personal businesses.

D’Antonio predicts that Trump may sell current assets to pay off his Deutsche Bank debt, which means there could be fewer to none Trump hotels, golf courses or towers in the next 10 years.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Thailand

Thailand’s emergency decree extended again

The Thaiger

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Thailand’s emergency decree extended again | The Thaiger
Thairath

Thailand’s nationwide Emergency Decree has been extended again, this time until the end of February. The decree gives the Thai government the ability to set policies and procedures to prevent the control the spread of Covid-19… things like restricting travel, setting up road checkpoints and introducing other restrictions without having to consult the parliament.

All the latest articles about Thailand’s Covid-19 situation are on one page HERE.

Government spokesperson Anucha Burapachaisri says it is just an extension of the decree that is currently in place that was initially set to end on January 15. The extension, adding on another 45 days, was proposed by the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration and approved by the Thai Cabinet this week.

The initial emergency decree was enacted in March last year and has been extended ever since.

The number of local Covid-19 infections has spiked since the outbreak at the Samut Sakhon seafood market last month, spreading to 55 of Thailand’s 77 provinces. The ‘second wave’ has stemmed from a cluster of migrant workers in the nation’s seafood industry and markets in the Gulf of Thailand coastal province, as well as cluster of infections focussed on illegal gambling dens, principally in the eastern coastal provinces and Bangkok.

Here’s a video about the new Mor Chana app which you will probably be required to use if you are travelling around Thailand at this time…

SOURCE: Pattaya News

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Politics

YouTube blocks music video with pro-democracy protest footage after legal complaint

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YouTube blocks music video with pro-democracy protest footage after legal complaint | The Thaiger
PHOTO: R.A.D.

A music video by a pro-democracy movement band was blocked on YouTube in Thailand due to a legal complaint from the government, according to the message posted on the video’s page.

The band Rap Against Dictatorship, also known as RAD, made a post on their Facebook fan page saying that the music video for their song “Reform” was blocked on YouTube.

“Happy New Year everyone. Our new music video has been blocked. This is obviously the ‘New Year Gift’ from the government.”

The band members are active in the pro-democracy movement and 2 of them are currently facing criminal charges relating to a protest in July.

The song conveys a definition of the word ‘reform’ in the Thai language and mentions the current problems in Thailand, including politics, social inequality and the right of protesters to seek justice.

The music video had footage from recent protests in Bangkok including clips from rallies in October and November where water cannons were deployed, some spraying tear gas on pro-democracy protesters.

The music video was first released in about mid-November and reached over 300,000 views on YouTube within 9 hours. It now has over 9 million views. The band was told that the music video is against the law without any other explanations from YouTube or government agencies.

RAD made a reputation with its previous work “Prathet Ku Mi” (“Which is My Country”) released last year and it went viral across the country. The group was also recognised one of the three winners of the 2019 Václav Havel Prize for Creative Dissent that was presented in 2019 at the Oslo Freedom Forum.

SOURCE: Facebook|Prachathai English

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