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A Japan airlines plane at the aiport in Haneda, Tokyo. Photo: Hitoshi Yamada/NurPhoto via Getty Images

When Beijing first asked airlines around the world to remove references to Taiwan as an independent country from their destinations lists, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders slammed the move as "Orwellian nonsense." But a number of airline companies are buckling under Chinese pressure.

Why it matters: China is wielding its market leverage to advance its geopolitical goals — and it's working.

The stakes: In the past, China has shut down the Chinese versions of various companies’ websites, like Zara and Marriott, for refusing to wipe references to Taiwan. It threatened airlines with similar measures if they failed to comply, per Foreign Policy.

The list:

  • Air India, which is owned by the Indian government, was the latest to comply, wiping all references to Taiwan from its site and re-dubbing it "Chinese Taipei," according to Business Insider.
  • Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways, both from Japan, changed "Taiwan" to "China Taiwan" on their Chinese language sites in June, though they kept "Taiwan" on other versions of their websites, reports the Japan Times.
  • Qantas Airways, Australia's largest airline by fleet size, is now referring to Taiwan as "Taiwan, China," AP reports.
  • Others: Per AP, Air Canada, Lufthansa, British Airways, Finnair, Garuda Indonesia, Asiana Airlines, and Philippine Airlines also made the change shortly after the Civil Aviation Authority of China ordered it in April.

What to watch: American airline companies have thus far refused to bend to Beijing's will. Republican Senator Marco Rubio and Democratic Senator Bob Menendez wrote a letter of support to U.S. airline companies under pressure from China, urging them to oppose Beijing's demands.

Go deeper: China's push to erase Taiwan

Go deeper

Tech scrambles to derail inauguration threats

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Tech companies are sharing more information with law enforcement in a frantic effort to prevent violence around the inauguration, after the government was caught flat-footed by the Capitol siege.

Between the lines: Tech knows it will be held accountable for any further violence that turns out to have been planned online if it doesn't act to stop it.

Dave Lawler, author of World
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Uganda's election: Museveni declared winner, Wine claims fraud

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Yoweri Museveni was declared the winner of a sixth presidential term on Saturday, with official results giving him 59% to 35% for Bobi Wine, the singer-turned-opposition leader.

Why it matters: This announcement was predictable, as the election was neither free nor fair and Museveni had no intention of surrendering power after 35 years. But Wine — who posed a strong challenged to Museveni, particularly in urban areas, and was beaten and arrested during the campaign — has said he will present evidence of fraud. The big question is whether he will mobilize mass resistance in the streets.

Off the Rails

Episode 1: A premeditated lie lit the fire

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 1: Trump’s refusal to believe the election results was premeditated. He had heard about the “red mirage” — the likelihood that early vote counts would tip more Republican than the final tallies — and he decided to exploit it.

"Jared, you call the Murdochs! Jason, you call Sammon and Hemmer!”