Taiwanese map gone wrong

Almost all the people I’ve met here will staunchly state they are Taiwanese, and NOT to be confused with their ill mannered, noisy, line-jumping Chinese cousins from the north.  Taiwanese people have a very strong national identity and loyalty to this sweet potato shaped island.  The continuous struggle they fight for sovereignty and international recognition has firmly shaped their views as being separate from China.  Or has it?

An article in the Taipei times brings to light an incident where principles and and national identity have taken a back seat to either cash-money or colossal stupidity.  Da Yu Publishing Co. has made a map that, “named it (Taiwan) a province of China and listing all five of Taiwan’s special municipalities as direct-controlled municipalities of China.”

Really?

This kind of blatant propoganda would be understood if it was coming from the mainland, but I’m very surprised that one of Taiwan’s own has produced and is selling this map in Taiwan! 

In addition, the map is printed in traditional Mandarin characters (used in Taiwan – China uses simplified characters).  So obviously this map is made for use by Taiwanese.

The article goes on to quote a professor of law at Chinese Cultural university (Taiwan).  He says “if the map had been published in simplified Chinese and sold only to Chinese tourists, then it might be understandable.”

Well, I’m not so sure … if the aim is to eventually be recognized as a sovereign nation.

From what I’ve gathered, the Chinese mainlanders are taught from an early age that Taiwan is just another province of China, and unless they get a western, or “out of China education” they continue to believe it.

So, giving Chinese tourists maps that re-inforce their false ideas of the Taiwan-China relationship does nothing toward gaining independant recognition for Taiwan.

In their defence, the editor-in-chief of the publishing house declared that the map used different colour codes and national boundaries for Taiwan and China, therefore Taiwan’s sovereignty was in no way compromised.  Even if this is the case, there still is a high degree of ambiguity.  On one hand “different colours” separate the respective countries but on the other, Taiwan is named as a province of China – kinda reflects the ambiguity in the actual cross strait relationship!

Regardless, I don’t see any reason why this company would create a map like this for sale in Taiwan.  I’d imagine that most Taiwanese would be offended by this, so how would the publishing house benefit?  Either money has changed hands behind the scenes somewhere, or someone is about to get fired for a major blunder.

Here’s the original article.

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