Secretary of State of California Website Considers Taiwan To Be Province Of China

A friend of a friend posted this image on Facebook after she was looking to register to vote. Now the People’s Republic of China may think that Taiwan is a province of China, buthow about the state of California?

Although the United States does not have official diplomatic relations with the Republic of China (Taiwan), the United States has never stated (as far as I know) that Taiwan is a province of China (there is the “one China policy” of course).  As a Taiwanese American, I’m kind of surprised and disappointed by this stated choice on the California Secretary of State website. If I were born in Taiwan, I’m sure I’d find this truly offensive (I was born in the U.S.) I wonder if the web developer happened to be originally from China and modified that option or that was just listed accidentally as an option.

I often wonder what it would take for the Chinese to believe that Taiwan is indeed a de facto independent country and would be one if it officially declared “independence” if there were no publicly stated military threat by China. Would it take a war for China to consider Taiwan an independent country – e.g. hypothetically, if China retreated and/or surrendered to Taiwan (like how the United States defeated the mighty British Empire for its independence)?

The other day, my friend sent me an article on China, where in part of the article, it described China not as a nation state, but a civilization state:

“China is, indeed, in so many ways, not like the west. It is not even primarily a nation state but a civilisation state. Whereas the west has primarily been shaped by its experience of nation, China has been moulded by its sense of civilisation. This helps to explain why the Chinese place such a huge emphasis on unity and stability, their reverence for the state and their embrace of ideas such as “one country, two systems” in Hong Kong. Similarly, unlike Europe, China never sought to acquire overseas colonies but established a tribute system in east Asia. The Chinese state bears a fundamentally different relationship to society compared with any western state. The state is seen as an intimate, as a member of the family, rather than, as in western discourse, a problem, a threat, or even the enemy. For the Chinese, the state is the embodiment of its civilisation: as such, it could not be more important, it lies at the heart of the Chinese pysche.”

And I think that this very psyche does give some insight as to why China will always consider Taiwan a part of China, even if China and Taiwan ever diplomatically recognized each other as independent states. However, I don’t think most Brits feel that America has been part of the United Kingdom for a long, long time – yet there is still a “special relationship” between the two countries, as I think there will always be one between China and Taiwan.

If you find “Taiwan, a Province of China” disturbing, please contact the California Secretary of State at: (800) 345-VOTE (8683) or [email protected]

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About John

I'm a Taiwanese-American and was born & raised in Western Massachusetts, went to college in upstate New York, worked in Connecticut, went to grad school in North Carolina and then moved out to the Bay Area in 1999 and have been living here ever since - love the weather and almost everything about the area (except the high cost of housing...)
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