Saturday, August 09, 2008

American Airlines thinks Anschluss already happened

What a day yesterday! The Olympics opening ceremony, Russia goes to war with Georgia -- while there are US advisors in Georgia, and that nation is angling to become a NATO member, and Dem candidate John Edwards announces that he put the whole Dem party at risk so he could boink someone he wasn't married to and then lie about it during the primary process.

Big fun over here in Taiwan this week. Last week longtime Taiwan scholar June Tuefel Dreyer discovered that American Airlines thinks that Taiwan is part of China.

這位美國航空公司人員很有把握地說,台灣已經自己要求把名字改為中華台北(Chinese Taipei),「因此就意味著台灣是中國的一部分,簽證當然是必備的。」她聽聞大為震驚,再質問航空公司人員這項要求是否來自中國當局?得到的答覆更是斬釘截鐵:不是,台灣名稱改變的要求是來自台灣政府。

(..."now that it is part of China, a visa must be needed." I said Taiwan wasn’t part of China, it was a sovereign state. She replied no, that a while back---she wasn’t sure exactly when ---TW had announced that it was changing its name from Taiwan to Chinese Taipei.....she was reading to me from a set of directions she’d been supplied with.)
Dr. Dreyer was attempting to get a ticket to come here, when American Airlines informed her she'd need a visa since we're part of China. Others have reported similar experiences. News about this in Chinese from Maddog:

http://news.sina.com.tw/article/20080808/673486.html
http://www.libertytimes.com.tw/2008/new/aug/7/today-fo5.htm
http://www.libertytimes.com.tw/2008/new/aug/6/today-o1.htm

16 comments:

Arty said...

Russia goes to war with Georgia

Now it turns out Georgia attacked first. I wounder how you guys at Taiwan think...considering South Ossetia wants to break away from Georgia. So if you truly believe in self determination, would you support South Ossetia to become independent (which is its current state), or Georgia should take it back by force. Btw, since Georgia is so stupid to attack first without solving this diplomatically, Russia might just took over Georgia again...

Thomas said...

Interesting. I went to the US AA site and it lists Taiwan under countries. I do wonder what they have in their computers though. There is no excuse to tell customers that it is Chinese Taipei though.

marc said...

I wrote to AA on their website. You can contact Customer Service directly on that site.

Michael Turton said...

Now it turns out Georgia attacked first. I wounder how you guys at Taiwan think...considering South Ossetia wants to break away from Georgia. So if you truly believe in self determination, would you support South Ossetia to become independent (which is its current state), or Georgia should take it back by force.

Yes of course, if we truly believe in self-determination, we should automatically support South Ossetia, without regard for any knowledge of history, politics, ethnocultural issues, and so on. Just having the ideal of self-determination is enough.

I love having you around arty. You're a walking, breathing advertisement of the stupidity of KMT supporters. I mean, an intelligent and reflective person might first ask what is going on, who is going to war with whom, what's at stake, and what "self-determination" might mean in this context. But no arty, you rush in where angels fear to tread.

Micahel

Arty said...

I love having you around arty. You're a walking, breathing advertisement of the stupidity of KMT supporters. I mean, an intelligent and reflective person might first ask what is going on, who is going to war with whom, what's at stake, and what "self-determination" might mean in this context. But no arty, you rush in where angels fear to tread.

Really? Would you enlighten me on this particular context implying? Yes, I did do some researches on South Ossetia. 70% of its residences has Russian passport. After Georgia left the Soviet Union, it has been self governing. It even has a referendum passed for independence (at what %???)...lol

I love having you around arty. You're a walking, breathing advertisement of the stupidity of KMT supporters. I mean, an intelligent and reflective person might first ask what is going on, who is going to war with whom, what's at stake, and what "self-determination" might mean in this context. But no arty, you rush in where angels fear to tread.

Thank you. I can attack you personally but I chose not to (really tempting though, hack at least my colleagues or former colleagues are not criminals and con-artists). What's going on is Georgia attacked a so call self governing state (situation just like Taiwan; if it is not, please correct me). Oh all Western reports are pointing at Georgia attacked first (and wiki is updated if you want to read a little)!

Btw, there is a good program for "democracy" going to be air on the US PBS:

http://www.pbs.org/now/shows/
431/index.html

I don't know who is really stupid. Of course, I could just be book smart (you know my ip). :)

marc said...

I think Arty has been living too long in the USA. He's lost his ability to think critically and can only offer his reactionary opinion.

On a related note, I found the following detail regarding the conflict in South Ossetia was especially noteworthy, since I could see China using a similar tactic here:

Today, many of the residents of South Ossetia are Russian citizens holding Russian passports: according to the BBC, "[m]ore than half of South Ossetia's 70,000 citizens are said to have taken up Moscow's offer of a Russian passport." Russia has argued this justifies intervention to "protect its citizens."

Michael Turton said...

Yes, that passport thing was quite clever of the Russians.

Michael

Guust said...

Many mistakes on the Georgian and especially on the Western side have been made. If the people in South Ossetia (and Abkhazia) realized, that the West doesn't respect their position, what options did they have. So they turned to Russia. What they really want is both, not to be part of Georgia and not to be part of Russia. Of course Russia has took that chance and increased its influence.
And sorry, it's "Anschluss", old writing was "Anschluß", when Austria joined Nazi-Germany.
Regards.

Thomas said...

While we're flying American Airlines on a South Ossetian diversion, I thought I would throw in a comment about a commentary in the Guardian:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/aug/09/georgia.russia

The key part is the last sentence:

"The root of the problem is that the world community cannot agree on rules for the independence of small regions."

The interesting here is that everyone's roles are reversed. Russia supports the independence of Abkhazia and S. Ossetia, where it opposes independence for Kosovo and (gasp!) Chechnya. Meanwhile the US supports the territorial integrity of Georgia but also supported the formation of an independent Kosovo. The US also rides the fence when it comes to Taiwan.

The slippery slope is that if Kosovo gets independence, AND Abkhazia gets independence, AND S. Ossetia gets independence, then many countries who oppose self determination on their own lands will find their hand weakened. SA and O have been boldened by the independence of K. So why shouldn't Xinjiang be independent.....

As for Taiwan, or the ROC, it has a far stronger hand than the others.

I support self-determination myself, but I see the slippery slope.

Arty said...

I think Arty has been living too long in the USA. He's lost his ability to think critically and can only offer his reactionary opinion.

Wow, so Americans don't think critically? I guess when you live over-sea and for some unknown reason rarely (or never) come back to the US. You will become smarter and think more critically. I think someone has been living on a tiny island a little to long (I hope you get my joke :P) Yes, this is another reactionary post from Arty.

P.S. I simply asked what's your guys' opinions on South Ossetia. Like Thomas said, the role is reversed, that's why I am curious. Instead I got two personal attacks ^.^...which prove my point even more.

TicoExpat said...

Horrible thing in Georgia. Why pick the start of the Olympics to escalate the violence, just as the world is looking the other way? Me thinks there is something rotten here...

Back on topic, I am stuck with my paperwork because of the same "reasons" Dreyer encountered. After watching this on teh news, I realized how "mafan" evry aspect of my life is going to become. Imagine I want to take my doggie home. The paperwork from Taiwan will not be accepted because "Taiwan is part of China, the paperwork must come from Beijing, not Taipei". The, the rules of the game change, too. Taiwan is a rabies free country, so many procedures are -well, used to be- expedited. If they apply PRC's standards, my dog will be stuck in quarantine a long time!

Now multiply this by academic and police records, driver's licence, etc, anything else where you must bring/take info to/from your home country, and you will realize how "mafan" this is going to be.

Logic, schmologic. *Sigh*

marc said...

Here's more disturbing news about Georgia that has ramifications for Taiwan:

WASHINGTON: The image of President George W. Bush smiling and chatting with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin of Russia from the stands of the Beijing Olympics even as Russian aircraft were shelling Georgia outlines the reality of America's Russia policy. While America considers Georgia its strongest ally in the bloc of former Soviet countries, Washington needs Russia too much on big issues like Iran to risk it all to defend Georgia.

And State Department officials made it clear on Saturday that there was no chance the United States would intervene militarily.

Michael Turton said...

Damn! How many times did I miss that "E" typo?!

marc said...

This gave me pause when I read it in the IHT this morning. Could this have implications for Taiwan? Certainly China is paying attention...

WASHINGTON: The image of President George W. Bush smiling and chatting with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin of Russia from the stands of the Beijing Olympics even as Russian aircraft were shelling Georgia outlines the reality of America's Russia policy. While America considers Georgia its strongest ally in the bloc of former Soviet countries, Washington needs Russia too much on big issues like Iran to risk it all to defend Georgia.

And State Department officials made it clear on Saturday that there was no chance the United States would intervene militarily.

Haitien said...

Horrible thing in Georgia. Why pick the start of the Olympics to escalate the violence, just as the world is looking the other way? Me thinks there is something rotten here...

Seems more like the Russians taking advantage of a Georgian misstep to reassert their dominance in the Caucuses region, while destabilizing the current Georgian government, which has been moving towards joining NATO in recent years. There have been signs of escalation for the last couple of months now.

I don't know what implications this has for Taiwan, or even whether we should be making a comparison (I suppose you could try to make an analogy based on Russian reaction to NATO expansion, and PRC reaction to pro-western countries in East Asia). Seeing as Georgia is now withdrawing from South Ossetia, I wonder if the current pro-western Georgian government will be able to survive this, and what impact this ends up having on the other ex-Soviet republics in the region - especially the ones that are often touted for possible future NATO membership.

Interesting times indeed...

Thomas said...

Well, I don't know, myself. But if I were Georgian, this affair would sour my views of Russia and make me more likely to seek NATO membership. I don't know the details of the situation though.

I think it is not entirely accurate to compare Taiwan with South Ossetia though. First of all, while Georgia has strategic significance to Europe due to energy reasons, it does not have the same strategic significance to the US. So the lack of American military intervention doesn't strike me as problematic. Also, while Taiwan was/is governed by a colonising party that has its roots in China, South Ossetia is made up of people who simply identify more with Russia. This doesn't seem to be a case of asserting a separate identity.

Finally, I just wanted to clarify a comment I made earlier. Arty mentioned the fact that I said that the great powers involved have shifting positions. We all know that the US, China, Russia et al are hypocritical when it comes to acting on their interests. The point is that someone who truly supports self determination for someplace like Taiwan doesn't have to leap to the defense of the US or any other great power. The powers are just actors.