Mongolia never part of China
Congratulations on affirming that "Outer Mongolia" is not part of ROC territory ("It's time to face up to reality," Feb. 27, page 8). However, I see that you are still rather confused as to the correct name for "Outer Mongolia" and refer to it as the "Mongolian People's Republic."
By the Fourth Constitution adopted by the Great Hural (National Assembly) on Jan. 13, 1992, which came into force on Feb. 12, 1992, the Mongolians changed the name of their country from the Mongolian People's Republic to Mongolia. At the same time, the Communist Star was dropped from the national flag and the state emblem.
The Khalkh Mongols were integrated into the Qing Empire as feudal dependents of the emperor. Once there was no longer an emperor, they declared independence during a committee meeting held on Dec. 1, 1911. On Dec. 16, the Jebtsundamba Khutuktu was named king.
In 1913, Russian and Chinese interference reduced this independence to autonomy within the ROC. The Mongolians again declared independence on June 11, 1921. In 1924, the Jebtsundamba died and Mongolia became a people's republic on Nov. 26 that year.
Mongolia was never a part of China. The Khalkh Mongols, defeated in battle in 1688, asked emperor Kangxi for land and protection and so began a feudal relationship with the emperor, but not with China as such. Once there was no emperor in China, the Mongols were freed from their obligation.
Attempts after 1911 to enforce ROC authority on them were all carried out against the wishes of the Mongols and with no legitimacy in international law. It is also disrespectful to Mongolia to refer to it as "Outer" Mongolia, as this name only has relevance from a Chinese perspective.
Ignoring political reality
In a recent article ("Bush visit highlights relationship problems," Feb. 26, page 8), Wu Yu-shan, a professor of political science of National Taiwan University, described the complicated diplomatic dealings between the US, China and Taiwan by taking historical snapshots.
Wu's comments emphasize unequivocally the state of mind of the Chinese leadership at each historical event but deliberately overlook the equally important political reality concerned with the other parties involved.
Overall, Wu offers ambiguous views on cross-strait relations, which he subtly depicts as a competition between Taiwan and China. He implies that China has given Taiwan many golden opportunities in the past that Taiwan has missed.
I am utterly disappointed that Wu did not comment on China's precondition for talks of accepting the "one China" principle or its alternative, "one country, two systems," which Taiwan has repeatedly and correctly rejected.
Ching H. Li
Jersey City, New Jersey