Fri, Nov 23, 2007 - Page 4 News List

Officials slam PRC over guidebook ban

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER , WITH CNA

Beijing's recent move to ban a travel guidebook over its depiction of Taiwan as a country separate from China is irrational and inconceivable, Taiwanese officials said yesterday.

At issue is the English-language version of the China Travel Guide published by Australian-based Lonely Planet Publications, which includes a regional map that uses different colors to mark China and Taiwan to indicate they are two separate countries.

China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has recently confirmed the book has been banned.

Cabinet Spokesman Shieh Jhy-wey (謝志偉) yesterday praised Lonely Planet for highlighting Taiwan and China with different colors on the map, saying that the move is "professional" and "right."

"It's a fact that Taiwan and China have been ruled by two governments in no way subordinate to each other," he said.

Lonely Planet is not the only publisher that had described Taiwan and China as separate countries, Shieh said, adding that the fact is also accepted by many other international publishers, international non-government organizations and Web sites.

Commenting on the matter, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Deputy Spokesperson Phoebe Yeh (葉非比) yesterday said it was "ridiculous" that the Lonely Planet book has been banned in China.

"The Lonely Planet book simply represents the truth. Foreign tourists don't confuse Taiwan and China as the same country. They all know that they need to apply for separate visas for Taiwan from the country's overseas representative offices," Yeh said.

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