War Thunder developer Gaijin Entertainment have removed Taiwanese flags from the game, and replaced them with the People’s Republic of China’s flag.
The game itself is a military MMO, utilizing vehicles of various nations during World War II and the Cold War. In a recent update to the game, the faction of “China” was added. Vehicles will utilize the flag of the nation that built or used them- accurate to the period of time they were from.
However, it seems that vehicles used by the Republic of China (now Taiwan) have their flag in menus and in-game replaced by the flag for the People’s Republic of China (or China we know it today).
In short, “China” has united and divide many times over the years. While the Republic of China formed in 1912, the Chinese Civil war saw the faction retreat to the island of Taiwan in 1949, with the other faction becoming the People’s Republic of China forming and controlling the mainland along with several other islands. The Republic of China lost its status as “China” in the United Nations’ UN Resolution 2758, in 1971.
User’s on the game’s official forum have noticed this, and criticized the historical inaccuracy, how disrespectful it was to them, and condemning Gaijin Entertainment’s silence on the matter. Protests have also occurred in replies to recent posts made on the game’s official Twitter account. It should be noted the game launched in China in 2014, published by Tencent Games.
China have demanded nations who wish to deal with them not deal with Taiwan, and allegations of China using its influence to restrict any mention of the “Two Chinas.” This includes allegations of China influencing sporting events such as the Olympics from prevent Taiwan from even entering under its new name. This resulted in Taiwan entering under “Chinese Taipei” in the 1980s.
The situation bears similarities to when Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege censored sexual, violent, and gambling content for “Asian territories.” The patch was rolled back just over two weeks later after community outcry.
War Thunder has been available on Windows PC, Linux, Mac, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.