Wednesday, September 09, 2009

World Economic Forum Annexes Taiwan to China

The contact form for WEF general inquiries is here. The email is contact@weforum.org. Be polite.

UPDATE: Response to one letter, not mine:

> Dear Mr. ___________
>
> Thank you for your message.
>
> Please note that our policy to enlist Taiwan, China in all our
> publications is aligned with United Nations, the World Bank, and the
> International Monetary Fund's practices which the World Economic Forum
> follows.
>
> We thank you for your understanding.
>
> Best regards,
>
> Ciara

You see, sir, when many are wrong, we can be wrong too! Yay!!! *sigh*

Keep writing. Change may come.
_______________________
Don't miss the comments below! And check out my blog and its sidebars for events, links to previous posts and picture posts, and scores of links to other Taiwan blogs and forums!

17 comments:

Hans said...

Things like this occured when Chen was in charge. Yet we could be certain that it was either the misunderstanding of the organization or it was due to the direction from the Chinese. Not in Ma's Era. I remember when I was self checking-in from JFK, NY in August, the computer poped up Chinese Taipei under nationality, which fitted Zero description of the passport I had in hand. These dreads are like nightmares!

Anonymous said...

In looking at the prior conventions for naming Taiwan in the World Economic Forum, "Taiwan, China" has been pretty standard, even during the Chen administration.

STOP Ma said...

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Done.

(What a crappy site for The World Economic Forum, btw)

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Michael Turton said...

STOP, I agree. I'm wondering why we moved up in the rankings five places, when we are much less competitive now. Think maybe some $$ changed hands somewhere?

Anonymous said...

I sometimes get the feeling you are attacking windmills here. Not even the WEF has the audacity to say "Taiwan, People's Republic of China". The "Taiwan, China" tag merely represents the de jure reality of the situation: Taiwan is, formally, the "Republic of China". The Taiwanese government itself acknowledges that Taiwan is part of "China". Taiwan is, strictly speaking, a province of "China" - the Republic of China that is.

Why must "China" necessarily entail "The People's Republic of China". I agree that the idea is misleading, since most associate "China" with the "People's Republic", but that's the government of Taiwan's own failure to assert its profile.

So, whether you like it or not, legally speaking, the ROC is "China". Now if you believe this is incorrect or an anachronism, that's another story. The de jure situation, however, remains.

Thomas said...

Could it simply be that others have fallen further? The US plunged. Need we mention Iceland? I am guessing that the numbers this year reflect the least bad to the worst rather than the best to the worst.

Michael Turton said...

Jesus H Christ on a shingle! The de jure situation, de jure laid out in the de jure san fran peace treaty is totally clear in a de jure way: the status of Taiwan is undetermined as no recipient was named. That is the intended de jure status of the powers, and persists to this day.

The ROC is not the de jure ruler of Taiwan. It has no legitimacy whatsoever.

Thomas said...

"Taiwan is, formally, the "Republic of China"."

Actually, no it is not, and it never has been. The Republic of China, while it was the legitimate ruler of all of China, did not include Taiwan.

When the KMT went to Taiwan, they claimed that it was a part of China. However, their claim was not formally recognized. Japan refused to specify in the treaty who the recipient of Taiwan was precisely because Japan did not want to take sides in the Chinese Civil War. This lack of specification means that ALL claims to Taiwan are merely that... claims.

So, in fact, when it comes to Taiwan, Taiwan has no de jure status. It only has a de facto one. The "owner" of Taiwan hasn't been clearly established since Japan renounced sovereignty.

As for "fighting windmills", there is absolutely nothing wrong with calling the WEF to task for taking sides in a territorial dispute. It will indeed achieve little. Who expects the WEF to change because of the complaints of a few Taiwan supporters when China's economy is still rising in a meteoric fashion? However, if nobody complains, then the WEF will just be that much more likely to act this way in the future. My response to them is below. It is long (sorry for that), but I think that Anon 7:00pm needs a refresher course on why the WEF's terms are problematic:

Dear Sir,

I have noted with much dismay that in the recent World Economic Forum
Global Competitiveness Index you have used "Taiwan, China" to indicate
that Taiwan is a part of China. I can't imagine that you are ignorant
of the fact that this is a controversial matter that requires a more
diplomatic handling.

Your position does not reflect the opinion of the Taiwanese public. In
a July 2009 poll by Global Views 82.8 percent of Taiwanese noted that
the current situation as “two countries being separately developed".

Your position does not reflect the opinion of the US government, the
island's chief arms supplier and potential protector. All official US
references to the "One China" policy of China note that the US only
"acknowledges" China's policy. This is not an indication of support of
the said policy.

Your position is not backed by Japan or any of the signitories of the
San Francisco Peace Treaty of 1951, which formally ended WWII. In the
said treaty, the owner of Taiwan was not indicated, and sovereignty
was certainly not assigned to some nebulous concept of "China".

Finally, your position also does not reflect that of the Taiwanese
government, which, despite the acceptance of a One China policy by the
Ma administration, maintains that that the PRC and ROC have different
interpretations of what that China stands for. This indicates that the
island is still viewed as a distinct political entity by the current
Taiwanese leadership. It is not the same China as the PRC. This
position is reinforced by the continued refusal of the Ma
administration to accept the use of the term "Taiwan, China" in
reference to the island's participation in international organizations
and sporting events.

I would very much like to believe that the World Economic Forum is an
impartial organization that keeps the interests of the citizens in all
of the economies it tracks in mind. However, it is difficult for me to
believe that this is the case when presented with such a blatant case
of favoratism for the terminology used by the PRC.

I hope that you will adopt a more balanced approach to international
territorial disputes in the future so as to avoid becoming a
propaganda tool. I highly doubt that "propagandizing for
dictatorships" is in the mission statement of the World Economic
Forum.

T. Patterson

STOP Ma said...

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STOP, I agree. I'm wondering why we moved up in the rankings five places, when we are much less competitive now. Think maybe some $$ changed hands somewhere?

Michael,

True enough. I'm not sure how many rankings Canada moved up, but our economy here is doing far better than in the U.S. >> thanks, in part, to our regulated financial system.

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Cara Lin Bridgman said...

Leaving the USA a month ago, my husband was asked for his Taipei passport. I was tempted to ask for the return of my New Orleans passport...

LA said...

Ya guys must be living in some fantasy world. Next time when ya have to cross da Taiwan border, tell da custom dude that ROC does not own Taiwan (throw in some argument about SF treaty too) and see what the custom dude do to ya. LOL. What entertainment.

Michael Turton said...

LOL to you LA. As a matter of fact, I know customs officials who don't think Taiwan is part of China. But don't let that get in the way of your entertainment.

Anonymous said...

Ha! I never write ROC on anything. Entering Taiwan I write Taiwan. Addressing mail "Taiwan"... just like everyone else. It is actually rare to see ROC in popular nomenclature. Ask anyone in Taiwan to tell you the country they live in and, based on my own informal research, the result will be 99.99% "Taiwan".

SupremeDalek said...

BTW, isn't organizations like UN, World Bank, IMF, ISO, and WEF etc. full of inbred elitist assholes who always stuck their head in sands and have intimate relationships with farm animals?

Sean Su said...

Here is where it gets funny.

Of course all the few organizations that use the label, "Taiwan, China" followed the United Nations which followed China's lead, so really the nomenclature is unfair.

However my response would be that most of the major corporations in the world that drive the economies label Taiwan as "Taiwan". Hence what's more important to the World Economic Forum? The United Nations (politics) or the actual businesses that drive the economy (economics)?

Cara Lin Bridgman said...

Here's the response I got:

Dear Mrs Bridgman,

Thank you for your message.

Please note that our policy to enlist Taiwan, China in all our publications is aligned with United Nations, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund's practices which the World Economic Forum follows.

We thank you for your understanding.

Best regards,

Carissa

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Global Competitiveness Network
World Economic Forum
Geneva, Switzerland

website: www.weforum.org/gcr
online purchasing: www.weforum.org/onlinepurchases
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Talk about a slap in the face... They're sexist, too. I am not "Mrs. Bridgman.

Cara Lin Bridgman said...

Also, notice how Hong Kong is listed as 'Hong Kong SAR', not 'Hong Kong, China'. Um... Didn't Hong Kong become part of China in 1997?