China (as in this China) and Taiwan haven’t always been the jolliest of roommates. In the 1970s, when many countries started re-recognizing China (the People’s Republic of China) instead of Taiwan (the Republic of China), some airlines – for example, those of the UK, Australia, France, and the Netherlands – had to form “subsidiary” airlines in order to continue flying to both places. Yes, even before the rest of the world had a reason to care, China was pushing everyone around, US-style.
Does that mean the plane was “made in China?” Uhh…try again (and don’t worry). However, it called for different airline names (KLM asia, British Asia Airways), and national symbols to be removed from the plane’s livery – the colors and designs – hence why you don’t notice a Dutch crown anywhere on KLM asia. Not to mention, if you wanted to fly between the two places, Hong Kong became the place to transfer. ‘Tis a good reason why 400+-seat 747s regularly flew the ~1.5 hour flight between HK and Taibei.
In 2008, due in large part to new leadership in Taiwan, scheduled non-stop flights began between China and the home of nasty night markets. From that year on, airlines from other countries didn’t have to worry about flying aircraft with an *, so these days you may even see KLM asia plying routes between Amsterdam and um, somewhere, anywhere else.
Have you flown with one of these said carriers? Was it worth it?