Fitch upgrade of ‘Taiwan, China’ draws fire from Taipei
- In an announcement upgrading Taiwan’s economic outlook, Fitch Ratings referred to the self-ruled island as a part of China for the first time
- Taipei expressed ‘deep regret’ at the name change and asked the ratings agency to revert to its previous practice of just saying ‘Taiwan’
Taipei said it was talking to the company about the issue.
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Fitch’s press release used the expression “Taiwan, China” three times, including in the headline, though the statement did make other references to Taiwan without the addition of the word China.
Taiwan’s finance ministry expressed “deep regret” at the name change and asked Fitch to revert to its previous convention of just using the word “Taiwan”.
“The ministry will continue to talk to the company to get them to acknowledge this problem,” it added.
A spokesperson for Fitch Ratings said: “The change to our naming convention for Taiwan was an operational decision”, but did not elaborate.
The statement was otherwise positive for Taiwan, with Fitch upgrading it to “AA” from “AA-” with a stable outlook, saying the economy had outperformed its peers during the coronavirus pandemic.
Fitch is not the only ratings agency to refer to Taiwan in this way. Moody’s also uses the formulation “Government of Taiwan, China” in some of its communications.
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China’s claims over Taiwan are a frequent source of anger in the democratically run island, whose people have shown no interest in being ruled by autocratic Beijing.
In May 2020, Fitch Bohua Credit Ratings Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Fitch Ratings, was granted approval by Beijing regulators to operate in China’s US$13 trillion onshore bond market, including providing bond ratings.