Thu, Mar 28, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Taiwanese map describes Taiwan as part of China

By Hsiang Cheng-chen and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

A map published by a Taiwanese company has been criticized for “abasing Taiwan’s sovereignty” by naming it a province of China and listing all five of Taiwan’s special municipalities as direct-controlled municipalities of China.

Hsu Hui-feng (許惠峰), a professor of law at Chinese Culture University, said a student surnamed Hsieh (謝) exhibited the map in question. Hsu said he could not understand how any map published by Taiwanese could so abase their own nation.

The source of the problem stems from the education system, and there is a crisis in how Taiwanese identify their own nation, Hsu said.

Publishers are responsible for disseminating knowledge and educating society, Hsu said, adding that if the map had been published in simplified Chinese and sold only to Chinese tourists, then it might be understandable.

However, the map is printed in traditional Chinese and the possibility of it being sold to Chinese tourists or visitors is extremely low, Hsu said, adding that it was a shame that companies would abase the sovereignty of their own nation for money.

In response, Huang Ssu-wen (黃思文), editor-in-chief of the publisher, Da Yu Publishing Co, said that the map had not abased Taiwan’s sovereignty because there were different color codes and national boundaries that separated China and Taiwan.

The map used different colors for the various provinces of China and it was not intended to abase Taiwan’s status as a sovereign nation, Huang added.

According to Department of Land Administration Deputy Director Wang Ching-hsiu (王靚琇), maps do not need to be sent to the ministry for review before publication, saying that was part of the liberalization of the publishing industry.

Publication of maps used to be regulated by the Map Review Statute (水陸地圖審查條例) and needed to be reviewed by the government, but since the abolition of the law in 2004, privately published maps of the nation no longer need to be submitted for review, Wang said.

Additional reporting by Chao Ching-yu and Chiu Yen-ling

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