Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Name Rectification Commentary in Oz Paper

Mark Harrison points to a great commentary on the name rectification issue (I assume he wrote it):

China has observed Taiwan’s renaming of its identity and history with frustration and sometimes anger. But it has learned that belligerence serves only to define Taiwan’s identity as Taiwanese all the more sharply, and so in recent years the public statements of the Chinese government have become more circumspect and ritualized. Despite China’s ascendancy as a global power, without direct control over the island it is limited to either military action or intervention in proscribed parts of the international community, especially those where the Taiwanese government also operates. In that arena China has been aggressive and uncompromising, shutting down any and all international space for the island to operate as “Taiwan”.

However, as effective as China has been in the areas available to it, in the wider field of global commerce, media and civil society, China is actually losing the fight over naming Taiwan. For the first time, on its 60th anniversary in February, the 1947 uprising was widely reported in the international media, even if much of that reporting failed to understand its significance. That Taiwan is a centre of the global computer industry is also widely known. More fundamentally, since the name Formosa fell into disuse in the 1960s, it has been common sense that the name Taiwan refers to an island in the northern Pacific and China to a great nation on the mainland of Asia. No one who says they are visiting “China” then travels to Taipei. As Confucius would have understood perfectly clearly,the Chinese government’s goal of the accession of Taiwan means overcoming the power of language itself.
Go read the rest.

2 comments:

mark said...

You're assumption is correct. Thanks for linking.

mark said...

Doh. Try "Your"...