Tue, Oct 04, 2011 - Page 8 News List

[ LETTER ]

ROC squatters

Although Taiwan has been colonized before, it is now an independent entity and has never once been a province of China (“Ascertaining the status of Taiwan” Sept. 27, page 8). The Republic of China (ROC) has been squatting in Taiwan since 1949 after the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) fled from China.

The feud and conflict across the Taiwan Strait is about the existence of two Chinas and not about Taiwan. Many people, businesses, travelers, governments and politicians alike have been referring to Taiwan as the ROC, which is wrong. It should be called the ROC on Taiwan. It is because of this convenient moniker that “Taiwan is the ROC” that has given the People’s Republic of China (PRC) the opportunity to claim sovereignty over Taiwan.

Sometimes names can be the same, but when there are border disputes, it is never a good idea — in this case, the ROC and PRC. Two neighboring Chinas implies they belong together and share a common identity.

This is much the same reason why Greece objects to the name “Macedonia” for the country that formed out of the former Yugoslavia. Greece would not have objected to a name like “Western Bulgaria” (given most of its inhabitants used to freely self-identify as ethnic Bulgarians prior to the Yugoslavians’ renaming the region), or Vardar, or any other number of names that do not attempt to insinuate that its own Macedonia region belongs to a neighboring state.

The office of the provincial governor of Taiwan, which was created by the KMT, had indicated that Taiwan was a province, but a province of which country? Fortunately, that administration was streamlined in the late 1990s, with People First Party Chairman James Soong (宋楚瑜) serving as the last governor.

So you see, it is the many fallacies that politicians and government officials perpetuate by referring to Taiwan as the “ROC,” when they actually mean the ROC (not Taiwan), that has allowed Beijing to make its sovereignty claim over Taiwan, which is illegal.

Anyone should know that the tenant does not own the property.

Andrew Michael Teo

Singapore

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