A flag­ging mo­ment for Tai­wanese cabin crew’s morale

The Star Early Edition - - OPINION & ANALYSIS -

TAI­WAN’S for­eign min­istry said yes­ter­day that it had protested to Dubai-based air­line Emi­rates over re­ports that the car­rier asked Tai­wanese cabin crew to stop wear­ing the flag of the sel­f­ruled is­land on their uni­forms, un­der pres­sure from Bei­jing.

Screen shots of an in­ter­nal e-mail pur­port­edly sent to Emi­rates staff cir­cu­lated on­line this week, telling cabin crew to use the Chi­nese flag in­stead of Tai­wanese flag pins.

The di­rec­tive was linked to a de­mand from the Chi­nese govern­ment, the e-mail said.

China re­gards Tai­wan as a renegade prov­ince af­ter de­feated na­tion­al­ists fled there in 1949.

Bei­jing has not ruled out the use of force to bring the self-gov­erned is­land un­der its con­trol.

Tai­wan’s for­eign min­istry said its Dubai rep­re­sen­ta­tive had protested to Emi­rates. “A few hours later the com­pany e-mailed to apol­o­gise, and said the re­quest was not cor­rect and was not ap­pro­pri­ate, but it still asked Tai­wanese crew mem­bers to not wear any flag badge, in­clud­ing our flag,” the min­istry said.

Emi­rates is not or­der­ing its Tai­wanese crew to wear China’s flag badge, the min­istry said.

Emi­rates did not com­ment di­rectly, but said an in­ter­nal e-mail on Tues­day told cabin crew to re­move a flag pin from their uni­forms and re­place it with an­other. – Reuters

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