U.K. insists on its terminology for Taiwan amid Chinese threat

The British government will continue its long-standing policy in referring to Taiwan as simply "Taiwan" and U.K. companies should not be placed under political pressure by Beijing to make changes on its designation of Taiwan, a U.K. foreign affairs official said Tuesday.

Asked by members of Parliament Andrea Jenkyns and Bob Blackman about China's pressuring of British Airways and other airlines to list Taiwan as part of China on their websites, Mark Field, minister of state for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, said that the U.K. government's long-standing policy on Taiwan has not changed.

"The government refers to Taiwan as simply 'Taiwan' and, when included in a list of places, does so under an inclusive heading, such as 'country/territory' or 'world locations,'" Field said in a statement.

He also made clear the U.K.'s stance on Beijing's move, stressing that private companies and organizations should be able to decide the terminology that they use to list destinations.

"U.K. companies should not be placed under political pressure to make changes. Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials have registered our concern with the Chinese government on this point," he added.

The U.K. parliamentarians' question was raised after China's Civil Aviation Administration in late April sent letters to pressure 36 international airlines to remove references to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau as countries on their websites and marketing materials.

Beijing originally set the deadline for the required change as May 25, later extended to July 25, warning that failure to comply would result in consequences.

Asked to comment, Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) spokesman Andrew Lee (???) on Thursday expressed gratitude toward the statement made by the U.K. minister. Taiwan will not succumb to Beijing's unreasonable bullying, he said. He also called on more like-minded countries to support Taiwan and reject China's bullying.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel