Mon, Dec 13, 2004 - Page 8 News List

Status quo changes in time

By Charles Hong

According to the Webster's dictionary, the status quo is defined as "the existing state of affairs." This means that the status quo is not stagnant but changes with time and circumstance; otherwise it becomes a past state or history.

Since the US cut off diplomatic ties with the Republic of China (ROC) in 1979, US officials consistently have been calling the country "Taiwan." Secretary of State Colin Powell once called Taiwan the "ROC" -- only by mistake.

Ironically, even the State Department official who opposed the proposed name rectification to "Taiwan" presumably used the term "Taiwan." The US has "American Institute in Taiwan," "Taiwan Relations Act" and so on, all named after Taiwan.

These names are clear and precise. If they were misnamed as "Washington Institute in Taipei," "Chinese Taipei Relations Act" or "China Relations Act," there would be a lot of confusion and misinterpretations. These are the very reasons why the name rectification to "Taiwan" is urgently needed.

The Taiwanese have suffered enough from so many historical or improper names imposed on the country. They will be happy to see "Taiwanese Institute in the US," for example.

The US, China and the rest of the world all call Taiwan "Taiwan." This is multilateral and universal. Why can't Taiwan call itself "Taiwan?" After all, this name reflects the true status quo.

Charles Hong

Columbus, Ohio

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