The ROC vs. the PRC
July 24, 2007
Many “Sinologists” (China experts) commit a universal and unforgivable blunder. They erroneously use the term “Republic of China” as if it referred only to the offshore Chinese island of Taiwan, and the term “China” as if it referred only to the mainland portion of China.
Ordinary Americans can be forgiven for dismissing these distinctions as unworthy of their attention, but “China experts” should know better. These constitutional law distinctions lie at the very heart of the cross-straits conflict, and could spell the difference between continued peace and nuclear catastrophe.
These legal distinctions are not subject to “interpretation.” They are explicit provisions of the Republic of China Constitution. Taiwan independence leaders know this better than anyone else. They know it, and they hate it. They might try to deceive Americans about Taiwan’s current status. They might repeat the catechism, “Taiwan is already independent!” But in their heart of hearts they know that until and unless they author an new constitution and declare formal independence, Taiwan will remain an integral part of China.
Black dotted lines are political boundaries drawn by the ROC. The formal names of these political entities are in black text.
Red solid lines are political boundaries drawn by the PRC. The formal names of these political entities are in red text.
White areas represent the territories claimed by the ROC but not the PRC.
Republic of China
1 special administrative region
People’s Republic of China
5 autonomous regions
2 special administrative regions
1 territorial base
Includes Chongqing as a municipality and Gansu-Qinghai border change
Source: Wikipedia, translated into English by Pryaltonian from the Chinese Wikipedia.