Two celebrations, two airlines

What is the difference between Air China and China Airlines?

A big difference if you are traveling in that part of the world because Air China belongs to China mainland and China Airlines to Taiwan.

On October 10th (10/10, the ‘Double Ten’) we celebrated Taiwan’s National Day, commemorating the Wuchang Uprising in 1911 that ended the Qing Dynasty and launched an independent Chinese Republic. Taiwan reclaims that heritage every ‘Double Ten’.

The mainland’s big day is October 1, the date in 1949 when Mao Zedong took over the country from Chang’s Kai Shek’s government which fled to Taiwan.  Since then the two Chinas have been in competition. For example, the mainland has a full embassy in Dublin while Taiwan only has a ‘Taipei Representative Office,’ reflecting their relative importance to Ireland.

Taiwan has full religious freedom but Christians make up only 3.9% of the population and growth is  slow. On the mainland religion is constrained but Christians form 5% and are increasing by 10% each year.

It would seem that while the Western form of Christianity has little appeal in the ‘old China’ of Taiwan, the younger generation in the ‘New China’ can identify with its spiritual and compassionate message despite the Western trappings.

However, that may not be the reason the Irish Government favours the bigger China.

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