CHINA / SOCIETY
Taiwan airlines to ban travelers’ use of ‘Wuhan pneumonia’ in nucleic acid testing certificates
Published: Dec 18, 2020 11:50 PM

Photo taken on June 4, 2019, shows the planes of Taiwan airliner EVA Air at the Taoyuan International Airport in Taiwan.Photo:Xinhua


Two Taiwan-based airline companies have confirmed that all Taiwan passengers to the Chinese mainland should use the right name for the pandemic in the nucleic acid testing certificate - COVID-19 rather than "Wuhan pneumonia," a hostile expression that is used by some pro-secession media outlets in Taiwan. 

Taiwan media reports on Friday said that two local airlines, "China Airlines" and EVA Air, announced that passengers should use the term "COVID-19," the world-recognized term recommended by the WHO, instead of "Wuhan pneumonia" in the nucleic acid testing certificate, in case documents are not accepted and passengers cannot board.

"In order to avoid the difference in the recognition of the name of the disease by the mainland, which may lead to the obstruction of the entry of passengers arriving at mainland airports, we suggest that the English version of the testing report should be the best," read EVA Air's announcement on its official website.

Taiwan media reports said the airlines' move came after mainland airlines had previously banned the use of "Wuhan pneumonia" on Taiwan passengers' testing reports.

According to an unconfirmed screenshot that spread online on Friday, China Southern said that passengers flying between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan are reminded that if the "Wuhan Pneumonia" appears on the test report, it will be deemed invalid and directly affect the itinerary and customs clearance of passengers. The Taiwan branch of the mainland's Air China and Shenzhen Airlines also had a similar announcement online.

Earlier in October, the Civil Aviation Administration of China announced that passengers departing from Taiwan for the Chinese mainland should provide a negative nucleic acid test report three days (72 hours) before boarding.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, only the Taiwan Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authority has insisted on the wrong use of COVID-19, which has intensified the antagonism and hostility between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, Wang Jianmin, a Taiwan affairs expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times.

The DPP authority on the island banned Taiwan suppliers from sending medical masks to the mainland at the beginning of the outbreak.

Wang noted that the change was related to the White House change as US President-elect Joe Biden is more inclined to follow international norms than Donald Trump, who has publicly described COVID-19 as "China's virus." 

Taiwan's pro-secessionist media, politicians and pundits might not stop using the offensive term against the mainland, but the mainland will never tolerate any harmful moves against mainland and cross-Strait stability, said Wang. 


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