A Taiwanese bird protection group says it has been kicked out of BirdLife International – a global conservation partnership – after refusing to sign a statement saying it would never advocate for the island’s independence from China. The incident is the latest illustration of how businesses, charities and other organisations in Taiwan find themselves frozen out of international bodies because of pressure by Beijing. The Taipei-based Chinese Wild Bird Federation (CWBF) said BirdLife International voted last week to remove it, ending a partnership that had been in place since 1996. CWBF said it was told that its Chinese name, which contains Taiwan’s official title the Republic of China, “posed a risk” to BirdLife, which is based in Britain. The group, which had previously changed its English name to satisfy BirdLife, said it had been willing to accommodate further amendments, but was told to sign a document “formally committing to not promote or advocate the legitimacy of the Republic of China or the independence of Taiwan from China”. CWBF said it had no stance on the matter, but that signing such a document would itself be a political act. “Our removal … seems to be an example of politics getting in the way of good conservation,” CWBF said in a statement. Taiwan takes aim at ‘Beijing’s suppression’, thanks ‘good friends like America’ Beijing regards Taiwan as its sovereign territory and has ramped up pressure since Taiwanese voters brought President Tsai Ing-wen to power in 2016. It has poached seven of the self-ruled island’s diplomatic allies and kept it locked out of major international bodies such as the World Health Organisation . Major hotel chains and airlines have also been punished by Beijing in recent years for listing Taiwan as separate from the mainland on their websites. BirdLife did not respond to requests for comment on the matter. Britain’s Telegraph newspaper quoted a BirdLife representative as saying it would be “inappropriate for us to comment publicly on matters relating to, and interactions with, partner organisations”. Richard Foster, a British freelance bird guide working in Taiwan, said he feared other international charity networks might come under similar pressure to eject their Taiwanese partners. “It is very sad that practical, out of the limelight, cross-strait relationships – focused purely on conservation – will be damaged by this geopolitical bullying,” he said.