China's drive to annex Taiwan is a comprehensive and robust assault on all aspects of Taiwan's international identity. The peripatetic Danny Bloom identified another one in a letter to the Taipei Times this week:
I have always wondered why Taiwan was assigned the country code number of 886 for international calls, since the code for China, 86, is so close. It appears that whoever did the assigning of numbers considers Taiwan to be part of China, since no other country in Asia has a code that is anywhere near the code number of another country. I did some research and found out. The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) publishes a list of 192 countries on its Web site, and Taiwan is not on the list. Taiwan is considered a part of China (“Taiwan, China — 886”). Can this mistake be corrected someday? Maybe 88 would do fine.If you search the Net you'll soon find that it was at the insistence of the PRC that the International Telecommunications Union assigned that code to Taiwan to denigrate its status. One site notes:
http://www.lincmad.com/The ITU refers to Taiwan as "Taiwan, China" in its official documents. Just search on its website...
The Republic of China (TW Taiwan) is officially recognized by the ITU as a part of CN the People's Republic of China. The country code +886 is designated merely as "reserved," without reference to location. However, most calls to Taiwan originating outside of the People's Republic of China are routed using country code +886, as shown in the table above. (The +86 6 numbering space in China's numbering plan is reserved for Taiwan.)
- DPP Taipei Mayor candidate Su proposes more bribes for babies. As if there is no budget deficit. There's nothing like buying Taipei voters with southern Taiwan tax dollars...
- Although China has denied cutting off rare earths to Japan, this fantastic blog post on the Senkakus mess from Ampontan says that the cut off did not occur as an administrative order, but as an order not to load them onto ships for transport to Japan. Which is not covered by international trade regulations. This is the same pattern we have seen in other Chinese behavior -- remember the complaints from Thai fruit producers that Chinese shippers left their stuff to rot on Chinese docks rather than ship it inland to compete with Chinese fruit?
- The latest Global Views survey has Tsai Ing-wen standing higher in the public trust than a certain President.
- English translations of the ECFA agreement are here and the annexes are here.
- Nat Bellocchi points out the inherent biases in local surveys of preferred status for Taiwan.
- China's surface ships usefully assessed at Jamestown Brief. As an aside, I'd like to call for an international moratorium on the use of wordplay on the name Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
- China's missile policy toward Taiwan, also from the Jamestown Brief.
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