Taiwan: stop calling us a "province of China"


Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou gestures during a mass rally held in Taipei on November 21, 2010.



First it was the World Health Organization, which classified Taiwan as "province of China" in an internal memo.

Now it's Vietnam, which wrote the same phrase on a Taiwanese person's resident card.

"Province of China" is arguably the most sensitive phrase in Taiwan. Mainland China's communist government argues that even though they don't directly rule Taiwan, the relatively affluent little island really belongs to them and shall one day return to the fold.

Taiwan staunchly disagrees. Only 5 percent of Taiwanese want to reunify. And Taiwan's president insists this errant phrasing is "hurting Taiwanese feelings" and has "damaged the nation's sovereignty," according to the Taipei Times.

How sensitive is the phrase "province of China"? Apparently so sensitive that its use on two bureaucratic documents, both of which the public would never have seen, merits outrage and demands for an apology.

“The government would not give up any chance to defend the sovereignty of the Republic of China, the nation’s safety and people’s dignity,” President Ma Ying-jeou told the Taipei Times.