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    Abian's Six-State Trip

Taiwan is not China' Needs to be Made Clear

By Chen Lung-chu

August 28, 2000  Taipei Times

On President Chen Shui-bian's intercontinental trip to Central America and Africa for "democratic diplomacy and friendship", the Dominican Republic was the first country he visited. On August 15, Chen, along with a large delegation from Taiwan, attended the inauguration of the president of the Dominican Republic and was given the seat of honor among the guests.

Nevertheless, on the name tags for Taiwan delegates, "China Delegate" was used. According to our embassy in the Dominican Republic, this was not a mistake; the Dominicans subscribe to a "one China" principle that there is only one China -- the Republic of China. Such an explanation smacks of weak self justification. When talking about "China," the whole international community, as well as the international media, take this to mean the People's Republic of China. Using this phrase to refer to Taiwan is misleading at best, perhaps even dishonest. nevertheless it is something that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has fostered.

Being called a "China Delegate" clearly shows the harm to Taiwan done by the myth of "one China", which could mislead the international community to believe that Taiwan acknowledges that it is currently a part of the PRC. It might also make it more difficult for Taiwan to play a larger international role.

I suggest that the new government should use the name "Taiwan" more frequently when promoting its diplomatic affairs. "Made in Taiwan" (MIT) is already a sound slogan which represents high quality. To build Taiwan's international image, we need to stress the name "Taiwan."

Regardless of the government's policy of "one China with respective interpretations" -- adopted slavishly from the failed foreign policy of its predecessor -- the term "China" is understood worldwide to mean the People's Republic of China, not the Republic of China. Taiwan should not be a political entity either nameless or with a plainly misleading name.

Taiwan is the motherland in which we live. We should cherish this land and make it shine by using the name "Taiwan" more.

Chen Lung-chu is the Chairman of the Chen Lung-chu New Century Foundation.

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