Mon, Jul 28, 2014 - Page 8 News List

Is it time to dump the name ROC?

By Jerome Keating

However, even in that same driven-out KMT that wants to cling to that ROC name and dream, some members find themselves in a different dilemma. They hanker for the money, power and control (not democracy) that the CCP has created, but their dilemma is how to join it without surrendering the shred of the name of ROC.

In the Qing Dynasty, the Manchus had a way of welcoming people with such a mentality back. These losers could live in a compound called xiu lai (“cordial relations”) and all they had to do was recognize their subservient place. Cheng Chih-lung (鄭芝龍), the father of Cheng Cheng-kung (鄭成功), and some of his followers chose that and survived, at least for a while. Could those KMT members swallow that?

In the meantime, for Taiwanese and Taiwan — aka Formosa — the burden of the ROC name and baggage continues.

Taiwan cannot participate in anything like the World Health Assembly or the WHO without the “cordial relations” permission of the PRC and even then it must do so under that ridiculous name Chinese Taipei.

Taiwan needs an exit strategy in its nomenclature, a strategy that can handle the current complications that exist on many fronts.

Temporarily, perhaps it can be done by simply ignoring the name ROC.

The US, a longtime ally and supporter of Taiwan’s democracy, maintains its strategic ambiguity by saying that it is “undecided” about Taiwan, though it does have a Taiwan Relations Act and not a Republic of China Relations Act.

Taiwan remains an island; it is not part of the main. And as an island it is a republic, a democratic republic with a democratically elected government. It achieved this by dumping the past one-party KMT state.

Now, as Taiwan’s identity continues in its development, it is an identity in process. Its eventual name is a part of that process. It is not the greatest of its problems, but it is still a problem.

And if Taiwan wants to move on from the baggage of its past, it will eventually have to face that problem.

While Taiwan and Formosa are among some of the possible name choices it has, the name ROC is not one.

What is in a name anyway?

Jerome Keating is a writer based in Taipei.

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