An All Too Common Mistake
June 25, 2006
The following is a letter to the editor of one of numerous US newspapers that published a recent AP article on North Korea’s missile test.
The letter has been revised for style as well as expanded in content.
Your June 25, 2006 article, “Missile threat could test United States,” by William Foreman of the Associated Press, committed an all too common mistake.
It asserted that:
“Taiwan split from China amid civil war in 1949.”
This common but mistaken formulation is both intellectually sloppy and dangerously misleading. It implies that something, called “Taiwan,” separated itself from something else, called “China.”
It implies secession. It implies successful secession. It implies a fait accompli.
In fact, it would be far more accurate to say that “In 1949, China split in two amidst a still unresolved civil war.”
In fact, China’s current situation is nearly identical to that of East and West Germany prior to German reunification.
What most people referred to as “East Germany” was in fact the German Democratic Republic. What most people referred to as “West Germany” was in fact the Federal Republic of Germany.
Similarly, what many people sloppily refer to as “Taiwan” is in fact the Republic of China. What many people sloppily refer to as “China” is in fact the People’s Republic of China.
Although no one does so, it would be far less misleading to refer to “Taiwan” as “East China,” and mainland China as “West China.”
In any event, the trend is clear. The US government is no longer willing, and more importantly, no longer able, to bear the cost required to maliciously keep China separated into warring halves.
China, like Germany, will eventually be reunified, sooner if not later.
Ironically, China will be reunified sooner, almost immediately, if Taiwan independence Quislings are so obtuse as to insist on declaring formal independence.
China will be be reunified later, perhaps decades later, if Pan Blue political figures succeed in regaining control of the ROC executive branch in 2008.