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    Letter to National Geographic Society


This is FAPA’s letter to National Geographic Society urging them not to designate Taiwan on maps in the same color as China.






February 5, 2003

Mr. Gilbert M. Grosvenor


National Geographic Society

1145 17th Street N. W.

Washington, D.C. 20036-4688



Dear Mr. Grosvenor:


On behalf of all members of the fifty chapters of the Formosan Association for Public Affairs across the United States, I write to you today about an issue of concern to us Taiwanese Americans.  We are quite upset by your designation of Taiwan on maps, in National Geographic Society material such as your excellent magazine, with the same color as China.


Taiwan's President Chen Shui-bian, as recently as January 22, 2003, stated in an interview with the Foreign Policy Research Institute, "I want to make it clear that Taiwan is not part of, a local government of, or a province of any country. This is a fact of history."


I would like to further point out that the United States does not recognize Chinese sovereignty over Taiwan.  In the 1972 U.S.-China Shanghai communique, the U.S. merely “acknowledges” China's claim over Taiwan, but does not accept it.


Earlier, in the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty, the international community (the U.S. included) purposefully left the status of Taiwan, formerly a Japanese colony, undetermined. Again, this remains the U.S. position today.


On behalf of Taiwanese Americans nationwide, I urge you to show the two countries with different colors and you will be true to the political realities in the Taiwan Strait.






Ming-chi Wu, Ph.D.

President, FAPA



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