HONG KONG (AFP) - Hong Kong's flag carrier Cathay Pacific became the latest airline to list Taiwan as part of China on its website on Wednesday (July 25) after a request from mainland authorities.
The Chinese Civil Aviation Administration sent a notice to dozens of airlines in April asking them to comply with Beijing's standards.
Taiwan is a self-ruling democracy, but Beijing sees it as part of its territory, to be reunified by force if necessary, and is pushing to isolate the island on the international stage.
Cathay Pacific and subsidiary Cathay Dragon had previously listed Taiwan as its own entity, but as of Wednesday morning, the island was listed as "Taiwan, China" on both its English and Chinese language websites.
Smaller operators Hong Kong Express and Hong Kong Airlines also switched their listings to "Taiwan, China" on their English and Chinese sites.
Asked about the move, Cathay said its airlines were registered as part of "the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) of the People's Republic of China".
"We must comply with the regulations and requirements of the relevant civil aviation authorities," it added in an e-mailed statement.
United States carriers will also change their listings of Taiwan according to Bloomberg News, citing a person familiar with the situation.
That comes despite a White House statement in May that called China's demands "Orwellian nonsense".
A growing number of international airlines, including Qantas and Singapore Airlines, had already changed their website classifications of Taiwan to "Taiwan, China".
As relations between Beijing and Taipei deteriorate under Beijing-sceptic President Tsai Ing-wen, China is ramping up military and diplomatic pressure on Taiwan.
It has also used its political and economic clout to woo away several of Taiwan's few remaining official allies.