"Taiwan, Province of China"

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"Taiwan, Province of China"

Postby finley » 13 Feb 2011, 13:48

Maybe this one belongs in the 'pet peeves' thread, but here it is:

I am completely sick of websites which ask you to select your country from a list and give this ridiculous option for Taiwan residents. Whatever your opinion on Taiwan's status, it's a real country (according to Frank Zappa's definition, anyway) and it's entitled to at least choose it's own name, which to most people is simply "Taiwan", with no political overtones. AFAIK not even the Chinese Communist Party refers to us as "Taiwan, Province of China" (I imagine they try not to talk about us at all). So why the hell does every english-speaking website use this stupid phrase? Where are they getting their country list from?

I'm not even talking about government websites. Only a few governments worldwide officially accept the 'One China' policy anyway. It's all and sundry. 50% of the time, I email and complain; so far the only positive response I got was from a Canadian government department. The others don't even respond.

I even had one Website simply change my free-text location (Taiwan) into "China". I whinged and they changed it to (surprise!) "Taiwan, Province of China".

What can we do about annexation by craven foreign consent? It's really starting to piss me off.
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Re: "Taiwan, Province of China"

Postby tommy525 » 13 Feb 2011, 13:53

Yeah pisses me off too !
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Re: "Taiwan, Province of China"

Postby Joschka » 13 Feb 2011, 15:55

It's greedy people who think they are appeasing the Mainland and then maybe some day they will make some money because of this.
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Re: "Taiwan, Province of China"

Postby Dragonbones » 13 Feb 2011, 16:41

What can you do? Write a polite letter to the merchant, explaining that the listing is inappropriate as it takes the side of China's aggressive claim toward the de facto independent, democratic nation of Taiwan, and that it should be changed to simply "Taiwan". I have done this many times, and at least half of them agree to change it, in which case, they get my continued business.
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Re: "Taiwan, Province of China"

Postby conta » 13 Feb 2011, 17:11

official name for Taiwan is Republic of China, right?
and People's Republic of China is the mainland right?
if I'm lucky enough, I'll see you in september ;]

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Re: "Taiwan, Province of China"

Postby Hamletintaiwan » 13 Feb 2011, 20:40

conta wrote:official name for Taiwan is Republic of China, right?
and People's Republic of China is the mainland right?

Guess you're right.
And unofficially Taiwan is its own country with its own constitution, currency, army and laws.
So you can dug and bow or show some civil courage even if your site won't be anywhere to find on Baidu.
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Re: "Taiwan, Province of China"

Postby Taffy » 13 Feb 2011, 20:46

Most companies have barely heard of Taiwan, let alone give serious thought to which name should be used for it. The prevalence of "Taiwan, Province of China" is down to its inclusion on the ISO list as such - many pre-made "country selector" modules for websites use this list. So if you want it changed, write to ISO. Good luck with that.
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Re: "Taiwan, Province of China"

Postby finley » 13 Feb 2011, 21:11

Aha .. thanks Taffy, that's what I was trying to find out! My point was, I can't be bothered to keep writing snotty emails to individual websites, especially if they don't take any notice. Obviously, everyone is referring to the same country list (or even the same code/scripts). I just had no idea where that was coming from.

Apparently ISO do listen to people ... most ISO standards are formalizations of ad-hoc consensus. Unfortunately, they're basically American, which means they have to do whatever China says to ensure the continued flow of underpriced tat into the USA. So in this particular case, maybe I'd just be better off waiting until there's a cold spell in Hades before I write to ISO.
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Re: "Taiwan, Province of China"

Postby kitkat » 13 Feb 2011, 22:08

From the ISO FAQ's:
FAQs - Answers to questions relating to codes and names of specific countries

Why is Taiwan named Taiwan Province of China in ISO 3166-1?

The names in ISO 3166-1 - and thus on our Webpage - are taken from United Nations sources. These sources are authoritative inputs to the international country code standard. They are:

The United Nations Bulletin Country Names
Country and Region Codes for Statistical Use of the United Nations Statistics Division
Since Taiwan is not a UN member it does not figure in the UN bulletin on country names. The printed edition of the publication Country and region codes for statistical use gives the name we use in ISO 3166-1. By adhering to UN sources the ISO 3166/MA stays politically neutral.


It's the top question listed in that section. Guess they get mithered about it.
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Re: "Taiwan, Province of China"

Postby greenmark » 13 Feb 2011, 23:30

The "Province of China" thing got was mistakenly set up in our company's relaunched intra-net.

Basically a lot of work got halted here because some people refused to sign up to it. I spent a couple of frantic phone calls to some of our IT guys in South Africa explaining to them the difference.
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