British companies should not be pressured by Beijing: minister

British government has expressed its concern over Beijing’s recent threats to companies to list Taiwan as part of China

Mark Field

Mark Field (By Wikimedia Commons)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – British politician Mark Field, Minister of State for Asia and the Pacific said that British companies should not be pressured by Beijing, after China demanded companies list Taiwan as part of China, reported CNA.

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has expressed its concern over this matter to Beijing, said Field.

Field's comments were made in writing to respond to a written inquiry by Conservative Party politicians Andrea Jenkyns, Bob Blackman and two others, who asked the FCO to comment on the recent scandal surrounding British Airways listing Taiwan as "Taiwan – China" following threats by Beijing.

The quartet asked if China's interference in the actions of international companies would affect the British government's policies and what the government was going to do about it.

The letter also asked if the FCO had taken steps to protect British companies from China's political ideology being imposed on them.

In response, Field said that private companies should have the freedom to decide how to describe a given location and that British companies should not be forced to change their practices due to political pressure.

Field said the British government's policy towards Taiwan had not changed and that it was the government's longstanding position to call Taiwan, "Taiwan".

Field added that the FCO has expressed its concern in relation to this matter to Beijing, reports say.

Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Li Hisen-chang (李憲章) said the Taiwan government was grateful for the British government's clear expression of policy and called upon all countries to resist Chinese bullying, reported CNA.

Taiwan will never accept China's overbearing practices, and will defend universal values of democracy, freedom and the rule of law, Li added.