An internal calendar distributed by Hong Kong flag carrier Cathay Pacific has opted not to show the flag of Taiwan, considered politically sensitive in mainland China, while the flags of all other countries are fully displayed.

In photos acquired by HKFP, a source working in the logistics sector, who did not wish to be named, said that the calendar was given to the staff at the airport’s cargo area as well as others in the aviation industry.

Cathay Pacific calendar. Photo: HKFP.

The calendar shows the 2016 public holidays of 39 territories and countries worldwide, including China and Hong Kong.

Flag of the Republic of China (Taiwan). Photo: Wikicommons.

The flag of Taiwan, however, is conspicuously missing from the run-down. Instead, the word “Taiwan” is printed in its place.

Governed by the Republic of China since 1945, Taiwan became a final holdout for the Chiang Kai-shek’s embattled KMT forces following their defeat by Mao’s Communists on the Chinese mainland.

Although Taiwan retains its own currency, armed forces, and democratically elected government, Beijing continues to regard it as a breakaway province awaiting reunification with the mainland. Displays of the Taiwanese flag are strictly forbidden in China, and also in any international organisation of which China is a part.

When Taiwan’s president Ma Ying-jeou met with Xi Jinping last year, his flag pin was blurred out by Chinese broadcasters. In international sporting events, Taiwan must compete as “Chinese Taipei” under a different flag.

Cathay Pacific calendar. Photo: HKFP.

A spokesperson at Cathay Pacific’s Corporate Communication Department told HKFP: “The 2016 calendar is one of our giveaway items. We welcome your feedback and will put it into consideration for discussion with our vendor for future productions.”

According to Cathay’s public relations department, the airline worked with a production company in Hong Kong to produce the calendar.

Cathay Pacific calendar. Photo: HKFP.

The new Cathay Pacific Cargo Terminal at Hong Kong International Airport commenced operations on 21 February 2013. Cathay Pacific Cargo freighters currently fly to 44 destinations around the world, including Taiwan’s capital Taipei.

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.