27 October, 2008

Bugger your Chinese Taipei!

Mr. T., one of my dad's friends from prep school days sent me this photo early this morning. Both Mr. T. and my mother are in Taipei participating in demonstrations against Chen Yunlin's (陳雲林) upcoming visit. As the chairman of China’s Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait, Mr. Chen is in Taipei to talk about China - Taiwan relations (to many Taiwanese that translates into Chen is in town to force Taiwan to become part of China).

The Taiwanese are passionate about their politics and they use all their democratic rights to express themselves. I suppose I would be a bit upset too if the most populous nation on Earth has a few thousand missiles pointed at my backyard.

If one were to politely translate the sign into English, it'd be something like "I bugger your Chinese Taipei!"

Because China claims Taiwan as part of the People's Republic, Taiwan can only participate in international athletic competitions under Chinese Taipei, not under the island's actual name. Taiwan also participates in other international fora under the Beijing-imposed name, and is not permitted to be involved in international organizations like the United Nations and the World Health Organization, where de jure nationhood is a requirement for membership (however the Palestinian Liberation Organization and the Knights of Malta, both non-state actors, enjoy WHO observer membership). As some may know, although Taipei is Taiwan's capital and its largest municipality, Taipeiers are only 2.6 million out of the nation's 26 million inhabitants.

4 comments:

Baino said...

I suppose technically Taiwan is still ROC. I wonder if Hong Kong can now participate in these organisations and events as part of the ROC? Poor old Taiwan has a strong history of invasion and subjugation . . .I just hope the Chinese leave it alone. It's economically prosperous so hopefully they won't meddle with what is essentially a democratic system and a good economy.

Quickroute said...

"I suppose technically Taiwan is still ROC"

Don't tell the Taiwanese poleeze!

TCL said...

baino and quick,

Well technically Taiwan is still the ROC. In soul I'm not sure if it ever was. I'm Californian so I can't speak for them. But born to Taiwanese parents, I got to hear a lot about the complexities of the matter. In the last three Taiwanese elections the victors won by less than 3% (2000), less than 1% (2004), and over 17% (2008). In 2000 and 2004 the pro-independence party won. In 2008 the Chinese nationalists won. Each time the China question was a major theme in the election. To say the island's population is conflicted about its own status and its relationship with China is an understatement. Of course, who knows what the vote tally would really be if the Taiwanese can cast their votes without Chinese missiles pointed at them?

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