Reading the news that Taiwan may become a "meaningful" participant in UN agencies and organizations UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Michael Danielson over at the Taiwan Corner remarked:
Taiwan wants meaningful participation in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) using the WHA model. Great idea but the important question that has to be answered is how it is possible to trust Taiwanese KMT negotiators handling the meaningful participation now that Taiwan is registered as a province of China in WHO using the WHA-model.Sadder still, as I pointed out when this broke, the WHO isn't setting a precedent but following higher policy. The long-term implications of this endless series of damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't choices aren't very pretty.
Still, moments of low humor abounded. The Taipei Times quoted.
“Chinese Taipei” stands for “Republic of China [ROC], Taipei,” Shen said, adding that the use of Taipei rather than “Taibei,” as it is written by Beijing, clearly showed it stood for the ROC and not the People’s Republic of China.B vs P: now that's hairsplitting! As I recall, the Chinese Taipei formula was first proposed by the KMT for use in the Olympics (see this post on Beijing's foreign policy in sports for how that works in China in practice).
Front page news today in the Taipei Times: Taiwanese woman's marriage certificate in Japan says she is from China.
Blaming the Ma gov't for decisions taken decades ago is kind of silly. This looks more like Japanese official laziness than official maliciousness. The China Post report contains more information:The documents I presented for marriage registration in Japan were my household registration transcript and affidavit to single status. Both were authenticated by Taiwanese authorities,” Lee said. “However, the marriage certificate that I got in return states China as my nationality.”
DPP Legislator Tsai Huang--liang (蔡煌瑯) said the government should be held responsible for such cases, adding that the so-called “diplomatic truce” with Beijing that President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) had initiated after he took office in May 2008 had “failed to defend the nation’s sovereignty” and led to an international misconception that Taiwan belongs to China.
“When the DPP was in power, Taiwan was not denigrated by Japan; its household authority clearly distinguished Taiwan from China,” Tsai said. “Under Ma’s ‘diplomatic truce’ policy, even Japan, which has been friendly to Taiwan, now lists Taiwan as a province of China.”
An anonymous official in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Association of East Asian Relations said that Japan would introduce a new foreign residency permit scheme in July next year in which it would list “Taiwanese” as the nationality of Taiwanese living in Japan.
The new scheme was based on Japan’s immigration law, which was amended by the House of Representatives in June 2009. Under the existing visa system, Taiwanese are classified under “China” for their nationality, the official said.
In response to the accusations, Deputy Foreign Minister Shen Lyu-shun (沈呂巡), who was fielding questions during the hearing, said he will look into the matter and would not tolerate such a deliberate denial of Taiwan's sovereignty.The gods love irony and offered us a couple of painful examples this week with Croatia and Slovenia -- breakaway regions of the former Yugoslavia -- both following the policy of labeling Taiwan a province of China. This sort of policy is perfectly normal and will become increasingly normal as China's power and influence continue to wax.
A MOFA official later informed reporters that the alien registration card that the Japanese government grants to Taiwanese citizens still lists their nationality as “China” or “China (Taiwan).”
Any foreigners staying in Japan for more than 90 days are required to register for the card.
He believed that the Japanese household registration affairs officials simply registered the woman as a Chinese national based on the information listed on the registration card.
The fascinating thing is the universal condemnation it evokes in Taiwan from the locals -- you know, those people who pay their taxes at the Tax Office labeled "Taiwan Province", drive on Provincial Route 3 to and from Taichung, nonchalantly refer to the island nation as a "province" in conversation, and so on. People rarely become publicly indignant over these labels though there is much private resentment. Perhaps it shows how much these pro-China local labels have become part of the slurry of identities that Taiwanese carry around, but it may also show how other nations that use the "Taiwan, Province of China" formula become convenient scapegoats for issues Taiwanese would rather not face at home....
Not to mention, it surely must be confusing to the representatives of the sovereign nations of Croatia and Slovenia as they perform their daily tasks in Taipei.....after all, isn't it the official policy of the current government that Taiwan is part of China?
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