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Jan 6, 2010

"International space"

One reason the KMT has been placing such emphasis on getting Taiwan "international space," is because it is this space which will be the post-unification international space, and which if Ma is able to obtain, would make the sell for unification all that much easier. If that sounds crazy or hyped, please re-read these two posts on the long-standing PRC definitions and ideas of unification.


Unknown said...

What's that?

Unknown said...

Sorry, I meant...what's international space?


Is there a Y1C computer glitch in Taiwan's future?

Is Taiwan facing its own immanent Y1C computer problems next year when
the ROC turns 100?

When most of the Western world was getting ready for the year 2000 and
all the Y2K computer problems the change-over from year 1999 to year
2000 might create -- and lo and behold, nothing really happened and
the change-over went smoothly with almost no glitches at all -- Taiwan
is currently facing its own Y2K problem. Call it Taiwan's Y1C problem,
because Taiwan's government uses the year 1911 as its founding date as
a republic -- The Republic of China (or R.O.C.) -- and since this year
is year 99 in Taiwan using this calendar system, next year will mark
year 100. And the extra digit just might cause some headaches for
Taiwan's computer systems that handle bank transfers, university
tuition bills, insurance premiums, medical records and driver's
license applications.

So get ready, Taiwan, for your own special Y2K problem -- Y1C to be more exact!

According to a post on Wikipedia, not to worry. Or, as the case might be, worry.

"Since, generally speaking, only government offices use the official
1911 dating system, the impact on the private sector in Taiwan should
be minimal," the Wikipedia entry says. "However, the potential to
affect government systems is another matter. Then again, on the other
hand, looking at the bright side of things, a large number of
government computers are already using a three-digit system for dates,
with a zero being used as the first digit for years below 100 (Western
year 2010 A.D. or earlier). Some government documents such as driver’s
licenses already refer to years over 100; fortunately, nothing more
than minor glitches have so far been reported."

According to David Reid, an Australian post-graduate student in Taipei, the
blogosphere began discussing this issue four years ago.

"The problem has been labelled 'Y1C' for Taiwan, and there is even a
Wikipedia page about it at,"
he said in a recent email to this reporter. "A blog called Pinyin News
wrote about it in 2006, or the year 95 as some might prefer. I expect
the issue will cause some minor problems, but I doubt it will prove to
be a disaster.:

"However, what would be a good thing is if the entire date issue
promoted more debate in Taiwan about whether using the ROC calendar is
relevant or practical," Reid added. "This is unlikely as the KMT will
be obsessed with marking the centenary and unwilling to engage in
debate about the issue."

Gilman Grundy said...

Read the two posts. Still sounds crazy.

Look, however much you, Michael Turton, J. Michael Cole, Jerome F. Keating etc. try to push this story of Ma manoeuvring to unify Taiwan with the mainland over the heads of the people of Taiwan, it still doesn't scan. It doesn't matter how much you try to parse random comments by KMT officials or visits to the mainland, reunification will not happen during the next ten years because there have been no real changes in position on either side. Ma has been very clear that no unification can take place without change on the mainland, change which the CCP will never agree to.

Unless and until you have some actual, you know, evidence that the KMT really is planning a secret sell-out, just give it a rest.

The articles you linked to those posts were editorials from the early eighties. Puh-lease - the mainland has pretty much given up on 'one country two systems', not least because this would inevitably mean granting democratic reforms on the mainland. This is exactly the reason why they keep postponing universal suffrage in Hong Kong.

阿牛 said...

FOARP, it's not that Ma is planning a secret sell out. It's that the KMT's clear policy is to move Taiwan closer to China economically and culturally, in hopes of making a future unification Taiwan's only real choice.

I'm aware of the age of the editorials, but they age well.... What I'm pointing out is how consistent China's policy has been on these points and how successful they've been in working toward their own long term goals.

Gilman Grundy said...

Yes, unification is still there long term goal, but they are not going to lock themselves into something (a CCP takeover in which they would be side-lined) which they don't actually want. Likewise - and we have discussed this before - constitutional change of the type which would render independence impossible is itself impossible without a clear mandate from the Taiwanese people, one which will never be given.

Closer economic and cultural ties? I think we should admit that cross-strait relations in these areas have been growing closer since 1992 at least. The Ma presidency has marked neither a sea-change nor a great acceleration in this trend. In fact, removal of legal barriers to trade and the flow of capital will actually allow repatriation of some of the money that has flowed towards the mainland.

Really, the casting of greater cultural and economic ties between Taiwan and the mainland as some overwhelming negative is one I simply don't understand. I say this as someone who has enjoyed the fruits of these links. On the cultural side I enjoyed a wonderful production of the Kunshan Opera classic Peony Pavillions created by a Taiwanese troupe when they came to Nanjing, on the economic side, I worked on both sides of the strait for Foxconn, the Taiwanese electronics giant. What harm can I point to that these links have created? On the cultural side the answer is quite simply "none" (unless, that is, you take especial exception to TV programs like 还珠格格), and on the economic side, whilst jobs have been lost in some sectors due to the relocation of business and increased competition, they were jobs which inevitably would have been lost to competition from other third-world countries, and new jobs have been created in their place. Most importantly, however, these links have not actually dampened enthusiasm for independence much.

Anonymous said...

FOARP and A-Gu and all: before you know it, this fall, China and Taiwan might get the Nobel Peace Prize for keeping peace across the Strait, sort of, for the past 12 years or so, since the 1996 bombardment that is, and especially the past 2 years under helmsman Ma. Tommy Friedman of the New Fark Times in NYC is busy pushing this Nobel nomination and just like Obama got it this year, watch, Ma and Hu will get it this fall. Good or bad? On va voir, as they say in my native France, or rather, ou va la Chine?