Some airlines, including American Airlines Group Inc., Delta Air Lines Inc., United Continental Holdings Inc., Hawaiian Holdings Inc., Qantas Airways Ltd., Air France-KLM and Deutsche Lufthansa AG cooperated with China's wishes on reference to Taiwan before last year's deadline. "A permitting issue, supposedly", the passenger commented.
"Midway through our flight, the pilot informs us that Chinese authorities had not given this plane permission to land, so we needed to turn around".
She conceded that China and New Zealand have a "complex relationship" which has "its challenges".
The incident marks yet another arbitrary move by Beijing to impose its ideology upon foreign companies, following the CAA order on April 24 of previous year that forced airlines to refer to Taiwan as part of China on their websites, which the U.S. White House called "Orwellian nonsense".
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says a flight from New Zealand to China was turned back for administrative reasons and the incident has no bearing on the relationship between the two nations.
The incident has created a potential headache for New Zealand's government, which has recently suffered frosty relations with Beijing.
Scheduling clashes happen - we all have to postpone sometimes. "Them [the opposition National party] spreading misinformation around this flight I see as irresponsible and a real departure on what we've experienced on foreign policy before", Ardern told TVNZ.
As to when she would be visiting Beijing, Ardern failed to give a specific date. "Is it part of the ongoing deterioration in relations between this NZ Govt & China?"
In November, New Zealand's intelligence agency rejected the telecommunication industry's first request to use Chinese telecoms giant Huawei's equipment in its planned 5G mobile network, citing national security concerns.
She said yesterday it was likely that although the airline would have filed for an aircraft to land, a different aircraft was suddenly listed to land on the other side - something Chinese authorities would not have accepted.
Back in October, Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis was so excited by the coming China-New Zealand year of tourism that he posted an official statement on the Beehive website.