Dumb and Dumber, the Naming of Chinese Taipei and its Acceptance

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Friday May 01, by Jerome F. Keating Ph.D.

Chinese Taipei, now that is really a dumb name. I don't know whose brainchild it was but if you really analyze it, it is insulting and misleading. How many countries would want to suffer a similar degrading nomenclature? Such an imposition represents the residue of the last colonial ethnic group to seize that land and that last colonial group's language. Spain had ruled a lot of countries. Imagine the chaos and confusion if we named those countries the same way. We would have Spanish Manila, Spanish Santiago, Spanish Buenos Aires, Spanish Lima etc. the list would go on and on. In South America, the only different neighbor would be Portuguese Brasilia. Bizarre to say the least.

Cross over to Europe if you want to better see the insult imposed. Do you think the people of Ireland would cotton to the name of English Dublin? Would the Scots buy English Edinburgh? It has a nice alliterative ring but no way. English Cardiff? No chance with the Welsh as well. So why does Taiwan have to be saddled with Chinese Taipei?

Chinese Taipei, such a name declares that all the aborigines and previous colonial groups don't count. Or should the name change each time the ruling colonial power changes? That might make history clearer. In Taiwan we could tell its history by the country's changing names. There would be Dutch Anping, Spanish Tamsui, Manchu Tainan, Japanese Taipei and finally Chinese Taipei. Hey we might have something there, but let's face it. The only reason we use Chinese Taipei is to placate the greedy bully across the Taiwan Strait. Isn't it time to grow up and move on? Taiwan is Taiwan and that's it.