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Wacky stuff involving China, Taiwan, Mongolia

Limeys, the Global Times would like you to know your nation ain’t shit—basically, it’s a place to sell cheap crap/illegally immigrate to study and travel in, but not much more:

The Cameron administration should acknowledge that the UK is not a big power in the eyes of the Chinese. It is just an old European country apt for travel and study. This has gradually become the habitual thought of the Chinese people.

The Global Times: keeping it classy, since 2009.

I was half surprised they didn’t include a “bad teeth” joke somewhere in there. But then again, this is China we’re talking about.

To add irony to insult, the editorial ends, “Finally, let us show courtesy to Cameron and wish him a pleasant trip.”

Moving on, the president of Taiwan—which I generally like, except when it’s baseball season—is reportedly so keen to promote cross-strait ties that he wants schools to make clearer that the capital of Taiwan—well, the Republic of China, anyway—is Nanjing, not Taipei (HT to Michael Turton). Which, I didn’t realize, is officially the case. What got me about this story, though, wasn’t that, but rather this:

Under Ma’s leadership, government officials’ interpretation of the nation’s status has been “absurd,” he added, citing the example of Mongolian and Tibetan Commission Minister Tsai Yu-ling (蔡玉玲), who recently said that Mongolia remains ROC territory.

I found this interesting for two reasons. One was that Taiwan actually has a Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Commission, with a history that goes back to 1636, no less. Note the yak on the commission homepage, and the adorable avatar on the Facebook page.

The other thing that got me was, obviously, that the ROC still officially operates on the premise that Mongolia is part of China. Not that I hadn’t heard it before, mind you. That the ROC still officially claims to rule Mongolia and Mongolia officially recognizes the PRC rather than the ROC has naturally presented some problems in the bilateral relationship, but the two seem to be getting past it:

Ninety-one years after Mongolia’s first declaration of independence, Taiwan did not recognise Mongolia as an independent country; official maps of the Republic of China showed Mongolia as Chinese territory. Relations began to improve in 2002, when the Executive Yuan under a Democratic Progressive Party administration announced that Mongolian nationals would be entitled to visas rather than entry permits when travelling to Taiwan, the same as individuals from foreign countries; however, the Kuomintang-controlled Legislative Yuan criticised the implementation of the decision, as they had not been consulted.[7] Later, representatives of the two governments agreed to open offices in each other’s capitals; Taipei’s office in Ulan Bator was opened in September of that year. Taiwan’s Ministry of the Interior then decided to discontinue including Mongolia on its official maps of Chinese territory, and on 3 October 2002, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that Taiwan recognizes Mongolia as an independent country.[8] In 2002, the Taiwanese government excluded Mongolia from the definition of the “mainland area” for administrative purposes. In 2006, old laws regulating the formation of banners and monasteries in Outer Mongolia were repealed. However, the official borders of the Republic of China have not been changed to exclude Outer Mongolia[9] via a vote of the National Assembly (as required by the Constitution prior to 2005) or via a referendum (as required by the Constitution after amendments made in 2005). The official status of recognition is currently ambiguous, though in practice Mongolia is treated as an ordinary foreign power.

Interestingly, the ROC also claims Tuva, a Russian-ruled area best known for its throat singing, weird connection to Richard Feynman and, if you’re Mongolian, livestock rustling. What was that, you say? Could I post a video of Tuvan throat singers doing a cover of Joy Division? Why, I’d be delighted:

For a map of the world according to the Republic of China, see here. And for a recent editorial in the Taipei Times about Taiwan, Mongolia and their shared history, see here.

Speaking of things Mongolian, if you haven’t read Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj’s speech to students at Pyongyang’s Kim Il-sung University at the end of October, here’s the full text at his official website. It must have raised some eyebrows, and I would have hated to be the translator. In fact, I’d be keen to see a Korean transcript of that lecture, if there is one.

About the author: Just the administrator of this humble blog.

  • Wedge1

    Tannu Tuva rocks! I plan to be more successful than Feynman and actually reach that place someday.

  • brier

    Im surprised the ROC doesnt claim outer manchuria too!

  • http://www.bcarr.com/ Brendon Carr

    The Global Times is right. Great Britain has frittered away its great-power status on its layabouts and immigrants. And our Left intends the same for America. Britain is awakening, with the UK Independence Party gaining impressively in latest by-elections. Britain’s turn to the libertarian right presages the pendulum swing that’s coming in 2014.

  • http://mykafkaesquelife.blogspot.com/ My Kafkaesque Life

    While it appears odd, that the current ROC (which governs Taiwan and some outlying islands), would claim Mongolia, the whole Chinese Mainland, and even Tuva, you have to be fair and explain that they don’t actively pursue the reclamation of these areas. PRC on the other hand is a different story. The current Taiwanese government is pro-China, but they’re kind of stuck between communists (who are their historic enemies) and the Taiwan independence movement. The only way to legitimize the current government and not give in to either side is to stick to the old outdated ROC constitution as much as possible. It’s the safest way for Ma to balance between China’s constant pressure and domestic opposition. Taiwanese laugh at these things as well, but it’s not a story that would be interesting for more than a couple of days. It happens too often.

    PS: I find this part odd: “the president of Taiwan—which I generally like”

    Why do you generally like our president?

  • namepen

    10 years of world war, the loss of industrial dominance and the comparatively modest size of the country are the reasons why Britain is no longer a ‘Great Power’. In any case when Britain was a world power who benefited? When the British Empire was at its zenith life for the average Briton was wretched.

    With a bit of luck one day there will be an independent England that is a fully engaged member state of the European Union. A nice little northern European country, famed for its wide selection of cakes and impressive galleries. A country that trades with the outside world, but doesn’t get involved in its insanity.

  • http://www.rjkoehler.com Robert Koehler

    I meant I like Taiwan, not necessarily President Ma.

  • http://www.bcarr.com/ Brendon Carr

    When the British Empire was at its zenith life for the average human was wretched.