Tuesday, October 27, 2015

A primer on Nationalist China, and more on recent hostilities with the People's Republic of Capitalism

Saturday, near the Newseum in Washington DC, as I was leaving an exhibit on broadcast news reporting of the Vietnam war (TV blog, Oct 24), I encountered a father explaining the status of Taiwan, or the Republic of China (ROC) to his son.  In earlier times we called it “Nationalist China” or even “Formosa”.

The People’s Republic of China will not maintain diplomatic relations with any country that recognized ROC.  That resulted in RIC’s expulsion not only from the UN Security Council but also the entire UN in 1971, an event often forgotten.  All of this is explained in a Wikipedia article here.

There were skirmishes around this issue early in the Bush administration in 2001, long before 9/11.  (I even recall the issue of foot and mouth disease at airports and on shoes. How little did we know our sensibilities would change.)

There’s a similar dispute now about a US warship in the South China sea, CNN story with video here. The US says that the artificial islands built by China don’t “count”.  What about some artificial islands near Dubai, all to be submerged someday by rising sea levels?  Trump is right: China is not our "friend".

Nevertheless, Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg gave a speech in Chinese at Tsinghua University in Beijing. It's a good question as to whether it's good to expect people to do business with a society hostile to our kind of individualism.
Wikipedia attribution link for P.D. NASA image of Tapei, link. 

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