Mon, May 28, 2018 - Page 6 News List

[ LETTER ]

Appeal to Tor Books

As readers who follow the news know, last month China sent a threatening letter to a large number of international airlines demanding that they change the country code for Taiwan (TW) on their schedules to China (CN), as dictated by Beijing’s “one China” principle.

However, standing up for Taiwan’s international space and presence, on May 5 US President Donald Trump’s administration issued a statement condemning China’s science fictional “demand” as “Orwellian nonsense” through which China was trying to impose its own political claims on private companies around the world.

It’s like the British novels Nighteen Eighty-four and Animal Farm have come to life in 2018.

Believe it or not, a major sci-fi publishing company in New York, the most prestigious science fiction publisher in the world, Tor Books, whose editors know all about the Nighteen Eighty-four and Animal Farm, also kowtows to Beijing’s “one China” nonsense by asking Taiwanese sci-fi fans who want to sign up at the Tor Web site (tor.com/register) to list their country on the site’s drop-down menu as either “China” or “Taiwan, province of China.”

Yes, the world-famous sci-fi Web site run by Tor Books does not allow Taiwanese sci-fi fans to list their country as “Taiwan.”

Yet as readers know, Taiwan is a free and independent democracy, which abides by international law and has never been a part of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The Chinese claim that Taiwan is part of the PRC is a silly nationalistic sci-fi illusion, with no basis in international law.

By forcing Taiwanese sci-fi fans to register on the Web site as being from either “China” or “Taiwan, province of China,” Tor’s editors and Web site managers are showing a terrible and naive bias to Taiwanese fans.

Tor’s editors are probably not even aware of this oversight on their registration form, thus this letter, and hopefully a change in the Web site’s current Orwellian nonsense.

I hope that Tor Books, once its editors read this letter, will do the right thing and stand up for Taiwan on its online registration form and show science fiction fans around the world that US sci-fi Web sites do not kowtow to China.

Name withheld

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