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Do people in Taiwan usually avoid publicly stating "I am Chinese!" ("我是中國人!")

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Do people in Taiwan usually avoid publicly stating "I am Chinese!" ("我是中國人!")

Postby FurTrader » 11 Jan 2012, 03:07

Do people in Taiwan usually avoid publicly stating "I am Chinese!" ("我是中國人!")

20 years... this wan't such a big issue... these days, it seems that you get dirty
looks when you say "you Chinese" when speaking to Taiwanese friends.(regardless
if they are KMT or DPP sympathizers)

now that I think about it... you rarely even hear KMT politician using that phrase....
odd, isn't it? :)
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Re: Do people in Taiwan usually avoid publicly stating "I am Chinese!" ("我是中國人!")

Postby bababa » 11 Jan 2012, 04:28

But I've gotten in trouble for referring to people as Taiwanren. Every time (I stopped trying fairly quickly), they would look angry and affronted and exclaim "I'm not Taiwanese, I'm Chinese." True, some of these people look down on the Taiwanese as opposed to the Mainlanders who arrived after the war. So what are we supposed to say?
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Re: Do people in Taiwan usually avoid publicly stating "I am Chinese!" ("我是中國人!")

Postby tommy525 » 11 Jan 2012, 07:46

Instead of saying Taiwan Ren or ChongKwo Ren, say HWA REN. That shouldnt offend anyone.
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Re: Do people in Taiwan usually avoid publicly stating "I am Chinese!" ("我是中國人!")

Postby the bear » 11 Jan 2012, 08:48

FurTrader wrote:Do people in Taiwan usually avoid publicly stating "I am Chinese!" ("我是中國人!")

20 years... this wan't such a big issue... these days, it seems that you get dirty
looks when you say "you Chinese" when speaking to Taiwanese friends.(regardless
if they are KMT or DPP sympathizers)

now that I think about it... you rarely even hear KMT politician using that phrase....
odd, isn't it? :)


What's odd about it? Taiwanese are not citizens of Mainland China. I'm a Kiwi and it sure gets my goat when people call me an Aussie. :cool:
I always wanted to be somebody, but now I realize I should have been more specific.
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Re: Do people in Taiwan usually avoid publicly stating "I am Chinese!" ("我是中國人!")

Postby Feiren » 11 Jan 2012, 09:57

'Chinese' (Zhongguoren) is heard far less than it used to be. In fact, I usually only hear it now when people are talking to foreigners. I suspect Chinese teachers still say it a lot.

Even if people are too polite to give you a dirty look, you can bet that at least 50% of the people around you will have their blood boiling when they hear it. I'd avoid it.
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Re: Do people in Taiwan usually avoid publicly stating "I am Chinese!" ("我是中國人!")

Postby Tomas » 11 Jan 2012, 10:17

tommy525 wrote:Instead of saying Taiwan Ren or ChongKwo Ren, say HWA REN. That shouldnt offend anyone.


I also say that when I'm with a mixed group of Taiwanese and mainlanders.

Around Taiwanese, I just say Taiwanese. Nobody has ever corrected me for this in Taiwan.

I think if I said "Chinese," there are some who would be offended.

I wonder though, if it's okay to say that 華人 are all ethnically 漢人, i.e. most of today's Taiwanese people trace their family origins to the mainland of China, even if they haven't lived there for 300 years or so. Will one of you experts please weigh in and educate me? Thanks.
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Re: Do people in Taiwan usually avoid publicly stating "I am Chinese!" ("我是中國人!")

Postby maoman » 11 Jan 2012, 10:25

Feiren wrote:'Chinese' (Zhongguoren) is heard far less than it used to be. In fact, I usually only hear it now when people are talking to foreigners. I suspect Chinese teachers still say it a lot.

Even if people are too polite to give you a dirty look, you can bet that at least 50% of the people around you will have their blood boiling when they hear it. I'd avoid it.

What Feiren said. My wife's grandparents came from China, but she much prefers "Taiwanese" to "Chinese". :2cents: She's not politically "green" either. She just identifies with Taiwan, and not China.
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Re: Do people in Taiwan usually avoid publicly stating "I am Chinese!" ("我是中國人!")

Postby ChewDawg » 11 Jan 2012, 10:28

the bear wrote:Taiwanese are not citizens of Mainland China. I'm a Kiwi and it sure gets my goat when people call me an Aussie. :cool:


Yeah but I would argue that most people in China and Taiwan have somewhat similar cultures (Han Chinese culture).

Not the same with NZ and OZ. New Zealand attracted pretty well to do immigrants. Australia, on the other hand, attracted the Botany Bay type of ruffians/criminals and lewd adventurers. :lol: Today though, Australia has a higher standard of living, while the Kiwis, sort of like Almas John, seem to be content with sheep, sheep and more sheep.

I can understand why you wouldn't want to be called Australian if you're talking about family history, but being a Kiwi these days is akin to being a Canadian (quiet, boring, and a dudley do-right). :lol:
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Re: Do people in Taiwan usually avoid publicly stating "I am Chinese!" ("我是中國人!")

Postby Chris » 11 Jan 2012, 10:30

When filling out a college application form, one student complained that there was a category for "Chinese" but not "Taiwanese" under ethnicity. She insisted she wasn't "Chinese". I had to explain that the term "Chinese" in English has far broader meanings, and can be translated numerous ways depending on context. In this case, it means 華人.

20 years ago, far more people from Taiwan called themselves "Chinese". Now, even 2nd generation "mainlanders" prefer to call themselves "Taiwanese" even if they don't speak the Taiwanese language.

But then it's touch and go: it all depends on your political view. Loyal Deep Blue "mainlander" descendants are more likely to call themselves "Chinese", while Deep Green southerners bristle at that term. And full-blooded Aborigines are not Chinese either.
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Re: Do people in Taiwan usually avoid publicly stating "I am Chinese!" ("我是中國人!")

Postby Feiren » 11 Jan 2012, 10:39

Tomas wrote:
tommy525 wrote:Instead of saying Taiwan Ren or ChongKwo Ren, say HWA REN. That shouldnt offend anyone.


I also say that when I'm with a mixed group of Taiwanese and mainlanders.

Around Taiwanese, I just say Taiwanese. Nobody has ever corrected me for this in Taiwan.

I think if I said "Chinese," there are some who would be offended.

I wonder though, if it's okay to say that 華人 are all ethnically 漢人, i.e. most of today's Taiwanese people trace their family origins to the mainland of China, even if they haven't lived there for 300 years or so. Will one of you experts please weigh in and educate me? Thanks.


Huaren refers to people who are culturally Chinese. It's a broader term. Something like 'European' rather than a specific nationality such as 'Dutch'. or 'Italian'. The problem with 'Zhongguoren' is that it refers to a specific nationality. Citizens of China. Since most people in Taiwan don't consider themselves to be citizens of China (i.e. the PRC), phrases like 'I am Chinese' don't go over so well in Taiwan.

'Taiwanese' is broadly accepted outside deep blue circles. Most third generation mainlanders don't have a problem with it.

'Hanren' is a bit problematic. It's a racialist term that was largely invented to support the policy that the 'Five Races' of China (Han, Manchu, Mongolian, Muslim [hui], and Tibetans) are unified in the nation of China ('Zhongguo'). In other words, it is an excuse for the Chinese to hang onto the Manchurian world empire that they inherited from the Qing.

But since Taiwan was already a part of China and doesn't really have the same issue of justifying an anachronistic empire to itself, the term Han is somehow not really relevant on Taiwan and I hear it rarely. It's much more common in China.

Also, while most Taiwanese certainly have roots in China, they also have non-Han roots in Taiwan. Taiwan was closed to immigration by women for about 200 years after the Qing defeated Koxinga. Ethnic Han men came to Taiwan and intermarried with plains aborigines in significant numbers. I don't think that means that Taiwanese can or should disavow the cultural and ethnic heritage that links them to China in so many obvious way, but it does complicate things.

I think 'Huaren' is the best because it really emphasizes the idea that people are Chinese not because of their blood but because they have 'opted-in' to being Chinese. That's how the Cantonese, the Minnan, and the Hakka all became Chinese in southern China. They are all assimilated non-Chinese peoples. The stories about immigration from the north are largely inventions to cover up their non-Han origins.













'
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