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Jun 12, 2012

Wang Yi's title

Wang Yi is the head of China's Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council (国务院台湾事务办公室), aka the Taiwan Affairs Office (国台办). Taiwanese media has for a good long while now been mostly out of the practice of altering, or abolishing, or "quote marking" the titles of Chinese officials.

Now Wang Yi seems to hold a second title that you probably haven't heard of even though it's no secret -- he's the head of the Communist Party of China Central Committee Taiwan Task Office (中国共产党中央委员会台湾工作办公室), and a recent NOWNews article mentions only this CCP-centric title when talking about how Wang met with some insignificant KMT youth group.

Google searches demonstrate that it was mostly Chinese media that prefer this title, and that for the most part, .tw domains using this phrase are either KMT or government sites, not mass media. Searches on the UDN or China Times domains do pick up hits, but a cursory glance seems to show that the China Times normally lists both titles if they use the party title.

UDN most often calls Wang Yi the "Mainland Taiwan Affairs Office Chair" or the "Chinese Communist [Party's] Taiwan Affairs Office Chair." China Times seems to prefer the "Mainland Taiwan Affairs Office Chair." Liberty Times prefers "China's Taiwan Affairs Office" and the Apple Daily is all over the place. 


Eisel Mazard said...


Off-topic for this post, but on-topic for the site generally: did you ever write follow-up articles on the "standardization" of Taiwanese Hokkien (台語 and/or 廈門話). I found an old article of yours about this, but I'm not having much luck searching your blog via google for other (related) articles.

I've got my own blog (and google-group) rolling for foreigners learning Hokkien, BTW, you might get a kick out of it:

阿牛 said...

There's more up to date information but I haven't been posting about it.

The MOE has an ok input method that incorporates its own standards:

They've consolidated the list of suggested characters into a single list of 700 (released under a CC license too!):

And that's gonna be it, basically. Sure, every now and again that list of 700 will get longer, but most other character choices aren't disputed.

Yet, as you said, all this standardization is likely to do nothing to impact the two places it could potentially do good -- karaoke and education. Even those politicians in Taiwan who think they support these efforts don't really have the slightest idea what they're doing, I think.

Thanks for the link to your blog and I'm sure I'll visit it all the time!

Gilman Grundy said...

All mainland officials have two titles - one CCP title and the other the government title. Go to any government office and you'll see two sets of signs hanging outside for the name of the office. This comes from the legal fiction that there is a difference between the two, and stretches from lowly provincial offices right to the top. The KMT press probably prefers to use the CCP title because it means they don't have to implicitly recognise the PRC as a legitimate government.