On the McDonald's Corporation's Web site, both Taiwan and Hong Kong are identified as a country, while China is missing. Many other corporations -- including Audi, Mercedes-Benz, GM and Siemens -- list Taiwan as a country. This is just a simple situation that tallies with business operations. But Chinese media believe that Taiwan cannot be taken as a "country," since this word refers to an independent nation with its own sovereignty.
With Chinese nationalism, it's hard to know whether to laugh or despair. For example, consumers worldwide are familiar with products labeled "Made in Taiwan" (MIT). MIT products represent good quality and cheap prices, especially IT products. However, if labeled "Made in China," the quality they represent may be much lower.
It's a given that Taiwan, Hong Kong and China are all official members of the WTO. In the situation in today's global market, China's actions against Taiwan's sovereignty go against most people's understanding, because they are unnecessary and appalling.
Not only has China's rigid and inflexible policy oppressed Taiwan, but it has also squeezed Hong Kong. After its handover in 1997, the territory's political independence it used to enjoy under the British disappeared, and its control over its own economic and trade affairs shrank. This has destroyed the Hong Kong people's confidence in Beijing's policy of "one country, two systems."
No wonder, despite numerous disagreements, the ruling and opposition camps in Taiwan are united in their rejection of "one country, two systems." As far as politics is concerned, the world cannot differentiate between the Republic of China (ROC) and the People's Republic of China (PRC). When it comes to China and Taiwan, it is acknowledged that these are countries ruled by two different governments. On Wednesday, 47 Democratic Party members of the Japanese Diet convened a conference to voice support for Taiwan's democratization and liberalization. They agreed to facilitate a visit to Japan by former president Lee Teng-hui (
President Chen Shui-bian (
If the two sides of the Taiwan Strait wish to maintain peace and stability, they should delineate the boundaries of the battlefield but not engage in total war. Clearly separating politics and economics and allowing mutual exchanges in the private sector to remain untrammeled by the issue of sovereignty is probably the most surefire model. If everything gets tied up in a Web of nationalism, then neither side of the strait will be able to act.