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May 27, 2009

Just great

In the 24-hour news cycle world, a new Biggest Story Ever gets marched out on at least a daily basis. One of those big stories yesterday was related to the Hu-Wu meeting.

Emphasizing that Taiwan and China belonged to “one China,” Hu said the two had agreed to promote peace, oppose Taiwanese independence, stand by the so-called “1992 consensus” and strengthen mutual trust.

Hu said that the two sides should engage in “pragmatic discussions” of political relations ­before carrying out unification and establish a military confidence-building mechanism. It is the goal of both sides to put a formal end to hostility by signing a peace agreement, he said.

Hu said Taiwan and China should forge ahead with preparations for an ECFA and aim for negotiations on the agreement in the latter part of the year.

An ECFA would be beneficial to economic development and public welfare on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, Hu said.

Wu did not mention President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) or Taiwan’s sovereignty during the meeting. He repeatedly used the phrase daonei (島內, “within the island”) when referring to Taiwan.

Last week, Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) earned plaudits from lawmakers across party lines when she referred to Ma by his title during a meeting with Beijing’s mayor.
Taiwan is, of course, an island. But Green politicians were upset Wu did not use the phrase guonei (國內, "within the country").

Now it will come as no surprise to readers of this blog that Wu does not consider Taiwan a country; indeed, the current KMT position is basically a reversion to the Chiang Ching-kuo policy, where unification, democratizing the mainland and upholding the Three People's Principles are interlocking goals.

But you wouldn't know that by watching blue media yesterday. Oh no. You see, Wu was merely avoiding saying guonei because using the phrase might cause friction with China. Likewise, saying "the Republic of China" might result in Hu Jintao retorting with "the People's Republic of China." The Chinese media would probably block it anyway, depriving the Chinese people of a chance to hear from Taiwan's political leaders. And even if the Chinese aired it, the masses wouldn't understand that guonei was acutally a reference to Taiwan; they'd take it as a reference to all of China. All of that is best avoided, you see.

Ultimately this is a relatively trivial matter, but honestly, the way the blue media covers for the KMT, you'd think the blues had a "two China" policy.


Tim Maddog said...

A-gu, you wrote:
- - -
[...] Green politicians were upset Wu did not use the phrase guonei (國內, "within the country").
- - -

If the case were merely that he "didn't say guonei," the DPP would have just called him gutless. Instead, saying "daonei" is an active belittling of Taiwan.

Tim Maddog

Taiwan Echo said...

There are couple of possible words to use:

(1) Within Taiwan country (台灣國內)
(2) Within Taiwan (台灣)
(3) Within the country (國內)
(4) Within Taiwan island (台灣島內) or Within the island (島內)

in the order of reducing sovereignty declaration. That is, (1) being a term most firmly stating that Taiwan is a country, yet (4) lowers Taiwan to merely a geographic area.

It's understandable that Wu couldn't possibly say (1). He could have just used Taiwan, not to mention that it has become such as a common term. But instead he chose the worst possibly constructed term.

Right after the news broke out, KMT claimed that in the script they prepared for Wu, either "Taiwan" or "ROC" are used. It is Wu who changed that to "Within Taiwan Island" on his own when he talked.