Talk:Beijing plans $242B freeway link to Taiwan

Taiwan/mainland China


Although these seem much simpler for some, realize that due to Western long-standing support for Taiwan as Republic of China, "simplifying" these actually confuses most westerners. It also obscures some of the underlying conflicts which are highlighted in this story. - Amgine 06:36, 19 Jan 2005 (UTC)

What are you talking about? Nobody knows what the Republic of China is, everybody has heard of Taiwan. If you read a real newspaper you would find that they refer to the ROC as Taiwan. In any case you don't need to refer to the Republic of China on Taiwan through out the entire article, once will suffice. It makes it much more simple to refer to Taiwan instead of the ROC. -- 07:42, 19 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Personally, I always think of it as Formosa. But at least I'm aware of its history, if not particularly familiar. I just found several news articles referring to the ROC, Taiwan, and mainland China. Try googling. (btw: I agree about the intro with ROC, then Taiwan. Go ahead on that.) - Amgine 07:46, 19 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Use Formosa? That makes no sense. Why would you want to use a name imposed on the island by the west? The bellman 07:22, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Tell me why "Chinese Communications Minister Zhang" is not confusing when the comparison is obviously Taiwanese? They are both Chinese. Similarly, Chinese and Taiwanese governments. - Amgine 07:52, 19 Jan 2005 (UTC)

First of all, whether or not Taiwan is China is a highly sensitive subject. If you call many Taiwanese people Chinese they will get very upset. On the other hand if you tell some people (from China and certain people in Taiwan in favor of unification of Taiwan and China), that Taiwanese people are not Chinese they will get upset. The safest thing to do is to call them Taiwanese. Secondly, more people will confuse the REPUBLIC OF CHINA with the PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA, than will be confused in thinking that Taiwan and China can be refered to as Taiwan.

Certain people on Wikipedia feel it nescessary to refer to Taiwan as the Republic of China because it is the official title. But even the ROC government interchanges the title. Also some of the changes made in the article show the editors' biases, refering to mainland China infers that Taiwan is part of China, just not the mainland. The press however uses Taiwan and China instead of Republic of China and People's Republic of China, they do this one, to show nutrality and two to simplify things. It was me who originally wrote this article, I prefer refering to it as Taiwan, (although I generally refer to the government on Taiwan as the Republic of China), however I feel that for the more broad audiance refering to the PRC and ROC serves no purpose. I reverted to my changes, you can add references to the PRC and ROC at the first of the article if you would like. Any changes beyond that I would HIGHLY dispute. -- 08:03, 19 Jan 2005 (UTC)-- 08:03, 19 Jan 2005 (UTC)

PS if I had any choice of what got changed I would change the headline. The headline implies that the freeway from China to Taiwan would cost $42 billion. However, that is the estimate for the entire project of building freeways from city to city.

I am quite aware of this; I have done research with Taiwanese researchers. I am equally aware the majority of people in Taiwan have repeatedly voted to be considered Chinese, continually force the local minority native islanders to speak in Mandarin, etc. The people consider themselves Chinese; their president (native islander) has stated a "One-China" theory in which mainland China rejoins the ROC.
I agree the article is biased, though I am unsure of the direction. I have found examples in U.S. press articles of ROC/PROC/mainland China usage, and Taiwan/China usage. In the latter, officials are introduced under their full title. Generally, for clarity, the governments are referred to by their cities, iow Taipei and Beijing. For this reason I suggest you revert your changes, or choose another more consistent method for clarity. Your current usage exclusively suggests the island has no independence from the PROC, which is biased. - Amgine 08:14, 19 Jan 2005 (UTC)

If that's the case then the article was not filed until January 14. Originally I put the "On January 13" at the first of the article because. . . I wrote it a day later. Later on somebody added the dateline, with the wrong date. -- 08:41, 19 Jan 2005 (UTC)

  • This is a very difficult one. However, first of all I wouldn't attach too much importance to the names used - unless you're well-briefed on the history of the situation, it makes little difference. I can't see how which name is used alters the perception of independence (or otherwise). However I lean towards using official titles for countries, so I think I'll change a few to them. It's also interesting just to see the subtle differences between the ways to island and the mainland describe themselves. Dan100 (Talk) 11:04, 19 Jan 2005 (UTC)
But now I've made those changes and read them back they don't read very well at all. I'll try using the capital cities, as mentioned above. Dan100 (Talk) 11:07, 19 Jan 2005 (UTC)
  • That is exactly my point! Using the names does not have that much importance unless your "well-briefed on the history of the situation," and those who are not well briefed on the history of the situation will be confused by references to the Republic of China, Taiwan would be much easier to follow. However, another concern was when Jiang changed the article, he replaced neutral phrases (used by the AP) with highly political ones (e.g. Taiwan for Republic of China). Even more I disagree with comments made in the article discussion stating claiming "the fact" that Taiwan is part of China as a reason that terms such as "mainland China" and "PRC" are needed. This is not a valid arguement (especially in the neutral world of journalism) since the issue is not resolved yet. I DO NOT TAKE A POSITION ON WHETHER OR NOT TAIWAN IS CHINESE!!! That is not my argument. My argument is that there is no need to add long titles all the time, such as Republic of China, because they serve to confuse rather than clarify, this is the common practice of the Associated Press, which seperates Taiwan from China by calling The Republic of China, "Taiwan" and the "People's Republic of China", China.

Here's my newest version of the article, I thought it was a little less biased than the previous ones.-- 10:06, 19 Jan 2005 (UTC)

People’s Government plans $242B freeway link to our Taiwanese comrades --From Wikinews

January 14, 2005

On Jan. 13, People’s Republic of China Communications Minister Zhang Chunxian announced a major plan to enlarge the country's freeway system and link all of China's major cities. The project would cost about US$242 billion and take over 25 years to complete, (a small price to pay for the glory of the People’s Republic). A certain portion of the plans, however, drew cheers from comrades all over China and across the world—plans including the construction of a freeway to the Taiwan, over 100 miles away from the Chinese mainland. The bridge will serve to unite the motherland liberate Taiwan!

The freeway would have to overcome great odds. The length of the freeway, whether a bridge or a tunnel, will be much longer than any other in existence. The longest bridge in the world is the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway in Louisiana, USA, which is 23 miles long. Interestingly enough, the second longest bridge will be the Hangzhou Bay bridge in China; it will span 22.3 miles when completed in 2008. The longest tunnel in the world is the Seikan Tunnel, connecting the Japanese islands of Honshu and Hokkaido at 33.4 miles.

The bridge will withstand the frequent typhoons and earthquakes that plague the Taiwan strait. The great work of the plebeians will even withstand the mighty black tides and marine trench that plague the strait.

The biggest miracle however will be the reuniting of our comrades on Taiwan, (who are currently under the bondage of capitalism), under: the pinciple of socialism, the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, the dictatorship of the proletariat and Marx-Lenin-Maosest thought. Currently Taiwan’s leaders, block the unification. Forbidding the people of Taiwan to travel directly to the liberated area, hindering them from visiting there comrades and families here on the mainland.

Chairman Mao Hundred Thousand Years!

Rants and Raves


Can you show me a source for the elections Taiwan held to determine that they (the Taiwanese) would like to be considered Chinese? I don’t remember that one.

I also don’t ever remember the Taiwanese people ever telling the Taiwanese Aborigines, to speak Mandarin. Especially since there is a great movement on the island towards speaking Taiwanese.

Or when the president referred to one China. I do remember President Chen making a rather ambiguous statement in his National Day speech this past year about “propose that both sides use the basis of the 1992 meeting in Hong Kong,” ( however, I must not have got much out of it as some people, as I didn’t get the part where he promoted the “One China Principle.”

I don’t ever remember saying that Taiwanese weren’t Chinese either. I merely recognized that it a disputed topic. I don’t dare claim to have an answer for a question that has been up in the air for 60 years (or maybe even longer).

I don’t even get this statement:

“Tell me why "Chinese Communications Minister Zhang" is not confusing when the comparison is obviously Taiwanese? They are both Chinese. Similarly, Chinese and Taiwanese governments. - Amgine 07:52, 19 Jan 2005 (UTC)”

I guess it makes sense now that we’ve solved “Taiwan problem.”

I admit you might be able to find references to the Republic of China, in news reports from the Republic of China government and in the more “unification“ leaning news papers. However, in western papers and most English versions of Taiwanese papers the phrase “Republic of China” hardly ever shows up. The AP style guide usually prefers Taiwan. This is quite likely done mainly for neutrality, because people are more familiar with the word Taiwan, and because the name Republic of China causes confusion with the People‘s Republic of China. Exceptions are when the article is referring to the actual title “Republic of China,” such as when the premier recently said “Taiwan, Republic of China,” while on a South American visit.

As for looking through the PRC’s eyes, they would never be happy if the term “Republic of China” was used! Therefore using the term “Taiwanese,” when referring to the government helps with neutrality in that aspect too. On the other extreme, if we referred to “Taiwan, Province of China” or “Taiwan’s leader” instead of “Taiwanese President.” Perhaps then the accusations, made against my writing being biased to “the other direction.” By not referring to the Republic of China. Again, BY REFERRING TO THE REPUBLIC OF CHINA (or Taiwan) BY TAIWAN, WE ARE NOT ADVOCATING THAT TAIWAN BELONGS TO THE PRC, OR THAT THE REPUBLIC OF CHINA DOES NOT EXIST WE ARE SIMPLY FOLLOWING THE NORMAL PRACTICE OF NEWS REPORTERS. IT IS THE MOST NEUTRAL WAY POSSIBLE. By using this term we satisfy the PRC (we don’t refer to the ROC), Taiwanese who don’t like to be referred to as Chinese, and only slightly upset “pro-unificationists,” and other people who for some reason or another feel the need to use the “long title of the country“ (e.g., certain people on Wikipedia). However, if we used China or ROC to refer to Taiwan as they desired we would upset the other groups.

Another thing, when do we ever start out our newspaper articles talking about the “United States of America”? Or see how many any other articles referring to China (outside Wikipedia), call China, the “Peoples’ Republic of China“. Compared to Chinese Government or China. Even official Chinese news sources hardly refer to the People’s Republic of China. (Google that.) We generally refer to nations by their short title. Not their long ones (that is everywhere but Wikipedia).

As to my reference in earlier postings about “mainland China.” I personally do not find anything wrong with the term “mainland China” or the “Chinese mainland.” However, it does pose some problems. Nearly every time I wrote China in the article it was replaced with “mainland China” or “People’s Republic of China,” these terms are all interchangeable, so the changes were not necessary. Besides being not necessary they also are subtle referrals to Taiwan being part of China (which, up until tonight, when we solved the “Taiwan problem,” was disputed). How does it do this? Well, if there is a Chinese mainland there must be a Chinese “minorland”. . . Taiwan? The phrase “Chinese mainland” also has the potential to offend believers in the “one China principle.” If there’s a “Chinese mainland (PRC)” there must be some other China. . . ROC? Granted, by just using the word “China” to refer to China (as opposed to Taiwan) can offend the PRC government as well.

With such a confusing question I propose we follow the standard set by the AP and the Taiwanese government to use the name Taiwan for Taiwan. You mean the Taiwanese government doesn’t always refer to itself as Taiwan? That’s right, recent changes and proposals for changes within the Taiwanese government include: a UN bid using the name Taiwan instead of Republic of China; President Chen promoted using the name “Taiwan Duei” (instead of the name “Jhonghua Duei,” used in the past; changing the names of government owned industries containing the word China, from such things as China Steel, China Airlines, and Chung-hwa Telecom (Chinese Telecom) to the Taiwan Steel, etc. Why is Taiwan doing this? One reason is because China, makes these things seem as if they are from China (mainland China, in case you were confused) and not from Taiwan.

As to referring to Taiwan’s government as Taipei and China’s as Beijing, there is nothing wrong with that. It is similar to referring to the US government as Washington, or Canada’s as Ottawa. Mainly it just adds a little bit of variety in the mix. However, Taiwan to tends to be going away from referring to Taiwan as Taipei (something that started when the Nationalist government did not want Taiwan as a nation, but were not allowed to be called China or the Republic of China), instead of calling the Taiwanese government published magazine as TAIPEI REVIEW they changed the name to TAIWAN REVIEW. As journalists we shouldn’t use the name “Taipei” when referring to Taiwan, unless we are using it in the same way that we refer to Washington as the US government.

Last of all if we use the word Taiwan instead of Republic of China will people assume that we are advocates of the Taiwanese independence movement? It’s highly unlikely. It is already being done by the AP, I don’t think that Taiwanese independence is on their agenda do you?

What’s in a name? When we (Wikinews), who are apparently trying to appear professional and competitive with the mainstream media, use unconventional usages, what message are we sending about our agenda? --

The use of "China" in place of "mainland China" implies that Taiwan is not part of China. The term "mainland China" is neutral in nature, and does not imply that Taiwan is part of China. "Mainland China" also excludes Hong Kong and Macau so it is not synonmymous with the PRC. As someone who is familiar with Chinese and the situation, I know that people on opposite sides of the issue use "mainland China vs. Taiwan" in their regular speech, not "China vs. Taiwan" for fear of not only offending those from the mainland, but unficationists on Taiwan. Though pro-independence supporters would rather use "China" instead of "mainland China", they do not find the term offensive. Therefore, for the sake of offending no one, we should use "mainland China"/"Chinese mainland" where appropriate. The rest is much more complicated and bound to offend someone.
Within Taiwan itself, whether to use "Taiwan" or "Republic of China" is a very hotly debated issue, with pro-independence supporters wanting to rename everything "Taiwan (the goal of Taiwan independence would be basically to rename the "Republic of China" to "Taiwan") and pro-unification supporters wanting to keep the legacy of the Republic of China. The PRC only prefers "Republic of China" being used within Taiwan because the alternative would be independence. However, they prefer that name not show up at all (you wont see it on news reports or publications) because the official view is that the Republic of China no longer exists. In the Chinese language, you'll rarely encounter the term "flag of Taiwan" for example because part of the whole debate over whether to change the symbols relies on the fact that theyre symbols of the Republic of China and not Taiwan. If president Chen is promoting something, it's bound to be opposed by a large segment of Taiwanese. Dont assume the president's proposals be general consensus.
To get to the point, just because AP does something doesnt mean it's NPOV or what wikinews should do. "China considers Taiwan a renegade province which should be reunited by force as necessary" is a rather poor way to describe the situation, I believe. It oversimplifies it into the case of Communist aggression vs. Taiwan independence, which is only a small part of the real problem. This discussion should be taken to naming convention to make policy. I'll refrain from proposing anything here. --Jiang 04:51, 21 Jan 2005 (UTC)

  • Any statements about President Chen were in response to comments that Taiwanese are definitely Chinese, and since the user used arguments of President Chen making references to Taiwan Chinese, I was giving showing the user statements to the contrary.
  • I think that also you are overly complicating things as well. People on Taiwan regularly refer to their presidents as "Taiwan zongtong" and even refer to Taiwan's flag as "Taiwan de guoqi." People from China regularly say they are from China and People from Taiwan say they are from Taiwan. They don't say I am from The People's Republic of China or the Republic of China (on Taiwan).
  • I don't really see anything non-POV about using the term "mainland China" either (I feel it only has a slight amount of "politicization", and only infers that Taiwan is not part of mainland China, by the way). However I don't feel it's nescessary, if you refer to China readers will know that your refering to the People's Republic of China. My main problem is with your need to switch China to mainland China each and every time it is used. It is not nescessary, just as using People's Republic of China, Republic of China, all the time in every article. It is not only redundant but confusing to readers not familiar with the situation.
  • Since there are no naming conventions for refering to Taiwan, that I could find on Wikipedia, when writing the article I used the AP conventions, and there is no where on Wikinews that says that is wrong.
  • I agree with you, the AP's naming conventions are not nescessarily non-point of view. However, I don't think your's are more so. The AP also has one up on your conventions, it's simpler and people won't be confused by ROC and PRC. Newspapers are made for the masses and not for the small amount of "China watchers." Granted Wikipedia can be slightly more technical in it's usage, (however, I feel the usage policy for Wikipedia could be reviewed as well.)
  • What are is the process of establishing a naming conventions policy? and I will try to propose something.

-- 05:47, 21 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Although people from mainland China say theyre from China (zhongguo) and people from Taiwan say theyre from Taiwan, this is still disregards what people mean by the term "China". When we use AP style, then we make the politically loaded and inaccurate assumption that China=mainland China and Taiwan is thereofre not part of China. Almost everyone in mainland China and half the people in Taiwan would disagree with this assumption on political terms, and the people of Hong Kong and Macau would disagree on actual terms.

I will concede that using the full official names may be cumbersome and confusing, and any use of them (if at all) should be restricted to references to the political entity, official titles, etc. However, trying to keep references to "mainland China" as "China" is an oversimplification. I see no confusion with the use of the term "mainland China". Those who dont get it can easily skip over "mainland" without much confusion. Those who do get can not be offended. It is important that we stay factually accurate and not perpetuate mass ignorance. If there's mass misconception, then why continue to perpetuate it? Isnt news supposed to educate? That's the point of repeating the damn sentence "China considers Taiwan a renegade province which should be reunited by force as necessary" over and over again. If anything is confusing, then let's add a couple lines to clarify.

Do note that the term "mainland China" is used not infrequently by the mainstream media: [1] [2] [3] [4]

for establishing policy, ask the water cooler. I think we need a general page on political npov and naming conventions, which doesnt exist.--Jiang 11:06, 21 Jan 2005 (UTC)

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