Taiwan Is An 'Independent Country,' Says UK Parliament: 'We Acknowledge China's Position But Do Not Accept It'

For the first time, the U.K. Parliament has referred to Taiwan as an “independent country” in an official document, Politico reported. The statement has been made during Foreign Secretary James Cleverly’s visit to China.

The language was adopted in a report by the foreign affairs committee of the House of Commons. The move risks a backlash from Beijing, especially given Cleverly’s visit, marking the first time a top British envoy has visited Beijing in the last five years.

China has consistently denied Taiwan’s statehood, claiming the self-governing island as its territory. Only 13 countries globally recognize Taipei instead of Beijing diplomatically.

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Committee Chairperson Alicia Kearns of the ruling Conservative Party confirmed this is the first such declaration by a U.K. Parliament report. Kearns emphasized the necessity of the foreign secretary to stand by Taiwan and uphold its right to self-determination.

“We acknowledge China's position, but we as [the foreign affairs committee] do not accept it. It is imperative the foreign secretary steadfastly and vocally stand by Taiwan and make clear we will uphold Taiwan's right to self-determination,” Kearns said.

The report criticized the U.K. government’s lack of boldness in supporting Taiwan and urged officials to prepare sanctions with allies to deter Beijing’s actions. It also suggested London should work with Tokyo and Taipei for trilateral cooperation on cyber and space defense capabilities.

The committee also encouraged the government to campaign for Taiwan’s admission to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) which Britain joined recently.

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Photo by patera on Shutterstock


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