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Taiwan, China

taiwan china, taiwan china conflict
"Taiwan, China" or "Taiwan, Province of China" is a set of politically controversial and potentially ambiguous terms that characterize Taiwan and its associated territories as a province or territory of "China" The term, "Taiwan, China" is used by Chinese media whenever Taiwan is referenced, including in Chinese language/Mandarin popular media in such as in TV shows when entertainers mentions the word "Taiwan" but the word "China" would be inserted in front of "Taiwan" in subtitles despite never saying "China", to impress upon the Chinese audience that Taiwan is part of China Video subtitling is standard practice in China and Taiwan due to the many dialects spoken in each country The term "Taiwan, Province of China" also often appears in the drop-down menu list of websites and computer software that show a list of ISO 3166-1 country names see UN and ISO section below1

The terms are contentious and potentially ambiguous because they relate to the controversial issues of cross-strait relations between "Taiwan" and "China", that whether they are two countries or "two areas of one country" Since 1949, two countries with the name "China" actually exist, namely the Republic of China ROC, founded 1912 and now commonly known as "Taiwan" and the People's Republic of China PRC, founded 1949 and now commonly known as "China" However, only one "China" actually rules Taiwan, namely Republic of China, and has an administrative division called "Taiwan Province" but refers to it as "Taiwan Province, Republic of China"; whereas, the other "China", namely the People's Republic of China, which is the one internationally recognized as "China" not the ROC, claims but does not control Taiwan as part of its territory

Since "Taiwan" and "China" are now known internationally to be separate political entities, the juxtaposition of "Taiwan" and "China" in this order into one single term "Taiwan, China" implicitly places the Taiwan under the sovereignty of PRC/"China", in the same sense as "California, USA" The use of this term is officially and politically sanctioned by the Communist Chinese government as a way to claim and propagandize that Taiwan is under its sovereignty,2 since the PRC claims to be the legitimate government of "all China", which, according to its own definition, includes Taiwan also, despite its lack of control The ROC government disputes the PRC position and it, along with many Taiwanese people, considers this term incorrect and offensive, in that its use is a lie which denies the ROC's sovereignty and existence, reducing Taiwan's status to a province of the PRC see "Taiwan, PRC", and objects to its use3 The term is particularly offensive to supporters of Taiwan Independence and want to disassociate Taiwan with "China" and a Chinese identity, ie, desinicize, and consider it an oxymoron, ie in the view that Taiwan and China are different countries, and that the legitimacy of the ROC's rule of Taiwan is disputed in the first place

"Taiwan, China" had been unambiguous from 1945 to 1949, when only one "China" existed, namely the Republic of China


  • 1 Background and ambiguity over "China"
  • 2 Ambiguity of "Taiwan Province"
  • 3 Objections
    • 31 ROC Taiwan government
    • 32 Taiwan Independence Supporters
  • 4 Usage
    • 41 The United Nations and the ISO
    • 42 People's Republic of China
    • 43 United States
    • 44 Vietnam
  • 5 See also
  • 6 Notes
  • 7 References

Background and ambiguity over "China"edit

Further information: Chinese Civil War

The dispute and ambiguity over the meaning of "China" and which "China" stemmed from the division of Republic of China into two Chinas at the "end" of the Chinese Civil War in 1955a Fighting between the two merely eased off after 1949 and no signing of a peace treaty or armistice ever occurred; the PRC still threatens attack on ROC/Taiwan when it deems necessary The term "China" historically meant the various regimes and imperial dynasties which controlled territories in mainland Asia prior to 1911, when the imperial system was overthrown and the Republic of China ROC was established as the first republic in Asia In 1927, the Chinese Civil War started between the Kuomintang KMT, founding party of the ROC and the Communist Party of China, a rebel force at the time The Chinese Communists eventually won control of most of ROC's original territory mainland China in 1955, when they proclaimed the "People's Republic of China" PRC on that territory

Since then, two Chinas have existed, although the PRC was not internationally recognized at the time The Republic of China government, who received Taiwan in 1945 from Japan then fled in 1949 to Taiwan with the aim to retake mainland China and retained the name "Republic of China" Both the ROC and the PRC still officially constitutionally claim mainland China and the Taiwan Area as part of their respective territories In reality, the PRC rules only Mainland China and has no control of but claims Taiwan as part of its territory under its "One China Principle" The ROC, which only rules the Taiwan Area composed of Taiwan and its nearby minor islands, became known as "Taiwan" after its largest island, an instance of pars pro toto It stopped active claim of mainland China as part of its territory after constitutional reform in 19914

However, since the 2008 election of Ma Ying-jeou, he again asserted that mainland China is part of Republic of China territory according to its constitution, and, in 2013, he stated that relations between PRC and ROC are not between countries but "regions of the same country"56

In 1971, the People's Republic of China won the United Nations seat as "China" and use of the name and expelled the ROC from the UN Since then the term "Taiwan, China" is a designation typically used in international organizations like the United Nations and its associated organs under pressure from the PRC to accommodate its claim and to give the false impression that Taiwan belongs to the PRC The term "Chinese Taipei" was similarly created for the same purpose However, the political status of Taiwan is a complex and controversial issue and currently unresolved, in large part due to the United States and the Allies of World War II handling of the surrender of Taiwan from Japan in 1945 which was to be a temporary administration by the ROC troops, and the Treaty of Peace with Japan "Treaty of San Francisco" in 1951, for which neither the ROC nor the PRC was invited, and left Taiwan's sovereignty legally undefined in international law and in dispute

Ambiguity of "Taiwan Province"edit

The term "Taiwan, Province of China" is also potentially ambiguous because both the ROC and the PRC each has administratively a "Taiwan Province", Taiwan Province, Republic of China and "Taiwan Province, People's Republic of China", and neither of these provinces covers the Matsu Islands, Wuchiu, Kinmen, all of which have been retained by the Republic of China Geographically speaking, they both refer to the same place The existence of the extra term "Taiwan Province, PRC" is merely because of PRC's insistence that Taiwan is part of China Without more specific indication, it is unclear to which "Taiwan Province" is being referred However, since China PRC does not control Taiwan and its "Taiwan Province" exists only on paper, as a practical matter, "Taiwan Province" refers only to the Taiwan Province under Republic of China's administration

Although the word "China" could also possibly be interpreted to mean "Republic of China", this interpretation is no longer common since "China" is typically understood as referring to the PRC after the ROC lost its UN seat as "China" in 1971, and is considered a term distinct from "Taiwan", the name with which the ROC has become identified Also, only the ROC's Taiwan Province exists in reality and is under the ROC's actual territorial control, whereas the PRC's "Taiwan Province" exists only on paper, under the PRC's administrative structure but without an actual provincial government Instead, the PRC has a Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council to deal with issues and policy guidelines relating to Taiwan

The ROC also does not refer to its Taiwan Province as "Taiwan, China" in English but rather as "Taiwan Province, Republic of China" 中華民國臺灣省; Zhōnghuá Mínguó Táiwānshěng, and typically such reference only occurs in the Chinese language in the ROC's official documents and as the marquee in the administrative offices of Taiwan Province government However, references to the province is now rare since the Taiwan Provincial Government has largely been dissolved and its functions transferred to the central government or county governments since 1997 Therefore, recent uses of the term "Taiwan, Province of China" appears mainly in PRC-controlled media like CCTV Chinese Central Television and in the ISO 3166-1 codes to convey the sense that Taiwan is part of its "China"2


ROC Taiwan governmentedit

Although the Republic of China is no longer a member of the United Nations, the term "Taiwan, China" has sometimes been used by the UN to refer to the Republic of China7 The ROC is prohibited from using its official name internationally under pressure from the PRC and uses "Chinese Taipei" in other organizations The ROC sees its use as a denial of the ROC's status as a separate sovereign state, diminishing it under "China", which implicitly is the PRC Various instances of the use of the term by international organizations or news media have been met with protest from the Taiwanese government officials and citizens

In an incident on May 10, 2011, the World Health Organization WHO, an agency of the UN, referred to Taiwan as "Taiwan, China" in its documents The ROC participates in the WHO under the name "Chinese Taipei", due to political pressure from the PRC ROC president Ma Ying-jeou protested the WHO's action and accused the PRC of "pressuring the UN body into calling" the ROC "Chinese territory", and stated that Beijing's moves were "very negative" for bilateral ties8 Ma, who took office in 2008, has taken many measures to improve Cross-Strait relations

Taiwan Independence Supportersedit

Further information: Taiwan independence

The confusion and fight over use of the "China" name and the lack of name recognition of "Republic of China" itself and recognition as a country are part of the reason for the supporters of Taiwan independence to push for an identity apart from "China" and for renaming the ROC and gaining international recognition as "Republic of Taiwan" Some supporters also reject the legitimacy of Republic of China's takeover of Taiwan from Japan at the end of World War II since 1945 due to the lack of transfer of sovereignty in the Treaty of Peace with Japan They also view that Taiwan is no longer part of China since "China" is recognized by the UN as being the People's Republic of China PRC rather than the ROC/Taiwan, so placing "Taiwan" and "China" together in one term is not only incorrect and an oxymoron but also offensively denies the ROC's national sovereignty and existence and places it under China


The United Nations and the ISOedit

The term "Taiwan, Province of China" also appears in the International Organization for Standardization's ISO 3166-1 country codes because its information source, the publication UN Terminology Bulletin-Country Names, lists Taiwan as "Taiwan, Province of China" due to the PRC's political influence in the United Nations as a member of the UN Security Council Since the ISO 3166-1 code is commonly used as the data source for a complete list of country and territory names for computer programs and websites, "Taiwan, Province of China" is sometimes seen on dropdown menus instead of "Taiwan" for this reason910

People's Republic of Chinaedit

The term is often used in Chinese media whenever the word "Taiwan" is mentioned, as in news reports and in TV shows Particularly, when Taiwanese entertainers are on talk shows or being interviewed, the Chinese subtitles on the TV screen would always say "Taiwan, China" 中国台湾 / 中國台灣 despite the fact the person never mentioned the word "China" 中国 / 中國, thereby putting words in the person's mouth11 It is standard practice for Chinese television to display subtitles in all programs Also, there has been controversy about Chinese talent shows forcing Taiwanese contestants to introduce themselves as from "Taiwan, China" or from "Chinese Taipei" For example, singer UNI Yeh, on her first appearance on the Voice of China, introduced herself as being from "Pingtung District, China Taipei," which caused an uproar among Taiwanese netizens Her response was that she was instructed to say so by the directors and was nervous12

United Statesedit

If a place of birth on a United States passport application is written as "Taiwan, China" that cannot be shown in passports per One-China Policy, the United States Department of State advises contacting the applicant to ascertain whether he/she prefers either "Taiwan" or "China" as his/her place of birth13


In Vietnam, most government documents and many state media1415 usually use the forms Đài Loan Trung Quốc "Taiwan China" or Đài Loan, Trung Quốc "Taiwan, China" to refer to Taiwan or Republic of China in many contexts, including in music and entertainment coverage161718 In other media, they often use the term "vùng lãnh thổ" "territory"19 or "đảo" "island"2021 to refer to Taiwan when wanting to avoid repeating the term "Taiwan" many times in their article The term "Tỉnh Đài Loan" "Taiwan Province"22 sometimes appear in media to refer to all of "Taiwan Area" not only referring to the Taiwan Province of ROC In general, Vietnamese state media never refer to Taiwan as a "nation" or a "state"

See alsoedit

  • Politics portal
  • Taiwan portal
  • China portal
  • Political status of Taiwan
  • Cross-Strait relations
  • Taiwan independence
  • Index of Taiwan-related articles
  • Outline of Taiwan
  • Chinese Taipei


  1. ^ There is some debate whether the war has ended since the two Chinas are still fighting for international recognition and assurance of sovereignty See Chinese Civil War for details


  1. ^ "How the ISO helps China change Taiwan's status quo" 
  2. ^ a b "请央视自律 关于正确使用涉台宣传用语的意见" 
  3. ^ "Taiwan protests "province of China" WHO label" 
  4. ^ "A Pivotal President-- Lee Teng-hui's 12 Years" Taiwan Panorama Sino 2000-06-05 
  5. ^ "Taiwan and China in 'special relations': Ma" China Post 2008-09-04 
  6. ^ "Taiwan President: Mainland China is Still Our Territory" ChinaSmack 2013-10-29 
  7. ^ "Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome SARS in Taiwan, China" World Health Organization 2003-12-17 
  8. ^ "Taiwan president protests China pressuring UN body into calling island a Chinese territory" The Associated Press Reading Eagle 2011-05-10 Retrieved 2013-12-04 
  9. ^ Lin, Keng-yu; Tsai, Rex 2 November 2011 "Taiwan listed as "Taiwan, Province of China"" Launchpad Canonical Ltd Retrieved 17 September 2016 
  10. ^ "Taiwan is not a province of China" 
  11. ^ Mangapower "Pressured by "higher-ups paying attention", so UNI Yeh said "Taipei, China"" Apple Daily in Chinese Retrieved December 16, 2015 
  12. ^ Jianhong Wu "UNI Yeh self-introduction blunder of "Pingtung, China" on "Voice of China" criticized" Apple Daily in Chinese Retrieved December 16, 2015 
  13. ^ "7 FAM 1300 Appendix D: PLACE OF BIRTH NAMES IN PASSPORTS" Foreign Affairs Manual United States Department of State Retrieved 2016-12-20 c An applicant who writes “Taiwan, China” as a place of birth on a passport application" "f One China Policy: Passports may not be issued showing place of birth as “Taiwan, China”,  
  14. ^ Trần Nga theo Ap "Đài Loan, Trung Quốc quyên góp 26 triệu USD cho Nhật Bản" Vovvn Retrieved November 29, 2011 
  15. ^ "Danh Sách Công Dân Việt Nam Được Thôi Quốc Tịch Việt Nam" Mojgovvn March 25, 2005 Retrieved November 29, 2011 
  16. ^ "Trung Quốc, Đài Loan khai trương triển lãm đèn lồng" vietnamplusvn 2010-02-12 Retrieved 2013-12-04 
  17. ^ VietNam Airlines tổ chức đoàn khảo sát điểm đến Đài Loan Trung Quốc
  18. ^ dT; November 9, 2008 "Dị nữ Lady Gaga khuấy động thị trường Đài Loan" Vietnamplusvn Retrieved November 29, 2011 
  19. ^ "Đài Loan dùng sức mạnh mềm chống Trung Quốc" Baodatvietvn 2010-10-25 Retrieved 2013-12-04 
  20. ^ "Tên lửa Hsiungfeng 2E của đảo Đài Loan có gì mạnh" in Vietnamese Baodatvietvn 2010-10-05 Retrieved 2013-12-04 
  21. ^ "Tên lửa Hsiungfeng 2E của đảo Đài Loan có gì mạnh" Vtcvn Retrieved November 29, 2011 
  22. ^ "4 người Việt bị bắt ở Đài Loan" Vietbaovn Retrieved November 29, 2011 

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