There have been growing concerns in recent years about the status of English in China, the most populous country that boasts the largest number of English speakers and learners (Bolton & Graddol, 2012; Wang, 2015). Such concerns are closely associated with the rising importance of the Chinese language worldwide, which seems to signal that ‘English is no longer so important’ (Wei & Feng, 2015: 59). The Chinese government has become much more active in promoting Chinese as an international language through the establishment of Confucius Institutes worldwide. The concerns about the status of English have also been related to the growing assertiveness of China's nationalism. In September 2013, a former spokesman of the Ministry of Education appealed to the public to emancipate children from English and save the Chinese language (Zheng, 2014). In October 2013, the Beijing Municipal Commission of Education announced that the weighting of the English section in the Beijing version of Gaokao, the national university matriculation examination, would be reduced to 100 from 150, starting from 2016. In the meantime, the weighting of Chinese will be increased to 180 (Wei & Feng, 2015). In March 2016, the Beijing Education Examination Authority finalized the decision and set the weighting of Chinese and English in Gaokao to 150 in 2016 (Beijing Education Examination Authority, 2016). In addition to Gaokao, critics have openly challenged whether satisfactory College English Test (CET®) results should be used as a prerequisite for degree conferment in many Chinese universities (Xie, 2014).