46 UK parliamentarians sign letter urging IELTS to correct its designation of Taiwan

46 UK parliamentarians sign letter urging IELTS to correct its designation of Taiwan

 

On 28 January, 46 UK parliamentarians signed a joint letter from British-Taiwanese All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) Co-Chairs Nigel Evans MP and Lord Rogan urging the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) to correct the designation of Taiwan on its official website. The APPG Co-Chairs stressed that IELTS’s decision to change the designation from “Taiwan” to “Taiwan, China” is not only erroneous as Taiwan has never been a part of the People’s Republic of China, but also contrary to the UK Government’s longstanding policy to refer to Taiwan as simply “Taiwan”.

 

The parliamentarians pointed out that the decision follows pressure from China and is based on commercial interest, adding that “although IETLS is a private enterprise, it should not have the terms of its business dictated by a foreign government.” The letter stated that IELTS succumbing to this political pressure undermines the UK’s democratic principles and harms the free operations of international business. Citing growing educational relations between the UK and Taiwan, the parliamentarians concluded by calling on IELTS to reconsider its decision and amend its website to the previous and proper designation of simply “Taiwan”, which may well allow the UK to continue increasing its educational exchanges with Taiwan.