Taiwan Matters! The PRC flag has never flown over Taiwan, and don't you forget it!

"Taiwan is not a province of China. The PRC flag has never flown over Taiwan."

Stick that in your clipboards and paste it, you so-called "lazy journalists"!

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Sunday, August 19, 2007

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Countering the mendacious memes about Taiwan

Simpler than the back of a cereal box

Robert Maguire (AKA The Only Redhead in Taiwan), blogging on Friday ostensibly about chemical pollution originating in China, reacted to some "journalistic" pollution and hit upon two truisms about Taiwan which the English-language media rarely comes even close to getting right.

He begins with a quote from a Reuters article bearing a Paul Eckert byline before smashing it to bits with a retort that even a rock could understand:
Taiwan has been divided from mainland China since 1949, when Nationalist forces fled to the island and Mao Zedong's Communists took power in Beijing.

China says the island is a breakaway province that must accept reunification and makes Taiwan's acceptance of Beijing's "one China" policy a condition for official talks.
Reunification? For once, I would like to read an article that says, "China says the island is a breakaway province, but the PRC flag has never flown over the island." I bet we would start seeing a significant change in the way people view Taiwan if these two little paragraphs that are in nearly every article about Taiwan were more accurate. Making clear that, yes, China does claim sovereignty over Taiwan, but there's no talk of "reunification" -- only unification -- seeing as the PRC never controlled (to my knowledge) any part of Taiwan. Also, Nationalist forces fleeing to Taiwan does not divide Taiwan from "the Mainland," seeing as there were already people on Taiwan before these outside forces came to Taiwan.
Those two bits are so good, let's look at them again in isolation:

* China says the island is a breakaway province, but the PRC flag has never flown over the island.


* Nationalist forces fleeing to Taiwan does not divide Taiwan from "the Mainland," seeing as there were already people on Taiwan before these outside forces came to Taiwan.

Maguire has done the work. All that these so-called "lazy journalists" would have to do is copy and paste the correct information -- if it's actually laziness we're talking about.

I won't hold my breath, but I'd be more than happy for them to prove me wrong.

Various shades: , , , , , , , , ,

Cross-posted at It's Not Democracy, It's A Conspiracy!

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3 Comments:

At 4:02 AM, Blogger Maoman said...

In Taiwan, people refer to tongyi which means unification, not reunification, so does this problem exist only in the English press? Is there a different expression in China?

 
At 4:39 PM, Blogger Tim Maddog said...

Good question, Maoman. I'll take a guess.

Checking Google for [再統一 中國] gives results for a CTiTV discussion board post near the top. Another search for [site:com.cn 再統一 台灣] gives 157,000 results, but the first page of results is missing the 再 at the beginning of many, and "Taiwan" probably gets filtered from many pages in China. "再統" sounds like a possible "simplified" term.

Can any readers provide a clearer answer which isn't a guess?

Tim Maddog

 
At 4:24 AM, Blogger Taiwan Echo said...

My take:

統一(unification) = conquer other countries/powers in one area and integrate into a larger union/country;

再統一(reunification) = do the above if those to be conquered were originally from the same country.

So, "reunification" implies that those countries to be conquered belong to one country before.

"does this problem exist only in the English press?"

I believe so.

"Is there a different expression in China?"

Don't think so. I never heard the term "再統一" being applied to Taiwan-China case.

 

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