Who could blame people outside Taiwan for being confused about how to refer to it, when its very government wavers on the issue?
As if the status of Taiwan were not confusing enough to the outside world, inconsistency from President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration as to how the country should be referred to on the international stage often compounds the problem.
In most instances, the Ma government has been content with Taiwan participating in international events under the designation “Chinese Taipei.” In fact, the administration has depicted such a designation at the WHO’s World Health Assembly (WHA) as a great accomplishment and a direct result of its “flexible” diplomacy.
Officials in the Ma government like to tell us that how the nation is referred to at international events is not as important as its ability to participate in the first place.
However, there have been other occasions in which the government took offense at the use of “Chinese Taipei.” The latest such instance involves the country of origin given to the Taiwanese production Seediq Bale (賽德克巴萊), which premiered last week in Venice, Italy.
My unsigned editorial, published today in the Taipei Times, continues here.