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Taiwan Protests Apple Maps That Show Island As Province of China

Unknown Lamer posted about a year ago | from the reality-calling dept.

China 262

itwbennett writes "Taiwan is demanding Apple revise its mapping software and remove a label that describes the island as a province of China, rather than as a sovereign state. The complaint was lodged after local media reports said that users on the island had noticed the change in Apple's latest iOS and Mac OS versions. 'The maps don't acknowledge Taiwan as its own nation. We voiced our disapproval, and hope Apple will make the change,' an official with Taiwan's foreign ministry said Wednesday. This isn't the first time such a mistake was made. Google also labeled Taiwan as a Chinese province in 2005."

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H-1Bs ? (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45279793)

Maybe if the U.S. Megacorps weren't hiring so many chinese this wouldn't be happening.

Re:H-1Bs ? (1)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year ago | (#45279937)

Maybe if the Chinese weren't buying all the U.S. Megacorps (and everything else in the U.S.), this wouldn't be happening.

FTFY

Sure, whatever (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45280227)

Maybe if the Chinese weren't buying all the U.S. Megacorps (and everything else in the U.S.), this wouldn't be happening.

FTFY

[citation needed]

Re:Sure, whatever (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45280405)

Try google..

Here they dropped the bid due to US resistance but it was an $18.5B bid by Cnooc for a US oil company.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/08/02/AR2005080200404.html

Here is a successful takeover back in Sept.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-09-06/smithfield-receives-u-s-regulator-approval-for-shuanghui-deal.html

Re:Sure, whatever (1)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about a year ago | (#45281257)

The largest ever takeover of a US company by a Chinese company is number 213 on the Fortune 500- and this is evidence of China "buying all the U.S. Megacorps".

Seriously?

Fuck iTards! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45279797)

Apple is gay! Fuck you iTards!

Not sent from a FagPhone

Re:Fuck iTards! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45279961)

So, this fixation on homosexuality is telling. When are you coming out of the closet?

Re:Fuck iTards! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45280145)

I already did after fucking your mom in it last night while your daddy wanked his 1-incher.

Re:Fuck iTards! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45280259)

Careful... what if his mom was dead? But I suppose if you were coming out of the closet about being a necrophiliac, then you'd really be coming out of a coffin, and not a closet, per se.

Okay, this discussion has definitely turned weird. Goodnight.

Re:Fuck iTards! (2)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | about a year ago | (#45280159)

I think he's just spanking his Android :)

Re:Fuck iTards! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45281253)

Why have none of the offtopic comments in this offtopic thread meen modded offtopic? The whole fucking subthread is not only offtopic but stupidly juvenile.

Everyone is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45279811)

Chinese in southeast Asia.

news for nerds... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45279827)

stuff that matters

hmmm... can't remember what new cite had that tagline.

Re:news for nerds... (1)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year ago | (#45279957)

It matters very much if you're in Taiwan.

Re:news for nerds... (0)

steelfood (895457) | about a year ago | (#45280231)

No, really, it doesn't. Taiwan is still a province of the ROC. People forget that there are technically two Chinas. One government operates out of the mainland (PRC). The other operates out of Taiwan (ROC). Technically, the ROC doesn't recognize the PRC as a legitimate government, and for a short time, the rest of the world did not either.

Irrespective, they both share very similar claims to sovereign territory and have the same areas divided out in similar ways. The only exception is that the ROC doesn't recognize Mongolia as its own country, which was done largely by the ROC and PRC at the time as a concession to Stalin's Russia.

Even people in Taiwan forget this and instead think they are a country independent of China. They are both the seat of the (only recognized--by them) Chinese government, and one province in that China.

Re:news for nerds... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45280909)

think you got that backwards, you said PRC is mainland and then u said the world doesn't recognize PRC as legitimate when in fact its the ROC that the world does not recognize.

Re:news for nerds... (2)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | about a year ago | (#45281131)

Cross straight relations and history are sometimes difficult to parse. What he said was correct, the ROC still doesn't recognize the PRC as legitimate (and vice versa) and in the immediate years after the Chinese Civil War, most of the world continued to see the ROC as the legitimate government of China in exile. After a several years it became obvious that the PRC wasn't going anywhere and world opinion about legitimacy flipped.

Re:news for nerds... (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about a year ago | (#45281127)

Sorry, your claims are just nonsense.
Taiwan is its own country since WWII ended and certainly so since the early 1950s.
Taiwan cares a fuck about what is going on inside of mainland china.

Re:news for nerds... (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | about a year ago | (#45281191)

ROC technically controls part of two provinces, not only Taiwan but some minor outlying islands that are considered part of Guandong IIRC.

Regardless of the legal fantasies of the KMT, the majority of Taiwanese see themselves as independent (not just the DPP and the pan greens, but independence is only one issue, and people aren't going to ignore all of the domestic policy issues of the political spectrum just because of how they feel about independence, so there are quite a few KMT and pan blues who would consider Taiwan independent as well).

Not a mistake (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45279831)

It's not a mistake. China's market is far more lucrative than Taiwan's for Apple, and since they have to choose which one to piss off....

Re:Not a mistake (1)

michelcolman (1208008) | about a year ago | (#45280267)

It was probably a condition for their deal with China Mobile.

Re:Not a mistake (1)

Mr D from 63 (3395377) | about a year ago | (#45280561)

Now they can sell the "Taiwan App" which changes the representation.

Re:Not a mistake (4, Informative)

TheLink (130905) | about a year ago | (#45280331)

In theory they don't have to choose. They could show different things depending on which country the user sets the OS to.

Given that Taiwan's standard script is "Traditional Chinese" script and most of China uses "Simplified", there is additional motivation for Taiwanese to select "Taiwan" for their OS. And the Taiwanese who set their OS to China[1].

Hong Kong and Macau might use "Traditional" too but they can select the correct location if they want.

[1] Note there's a diff between Peoples Republic of China vs Republic of China (Taiwan) etc. ;)

Re:Not a mistake (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45280813)

That's a good idea. The North Korean version could label NK as Korea, SK as Enemy and everything else as Wasteland.

Re:Not a mistake (1)

TheLink (130905) | about a year ago | (#45281335)

oops should be "And the Taiwanese who set their OS to China[1] probably want it that way"

Re:Not a mistake (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year ago | (#45280381)

Came here to say this...easy choice.

Taiwan, just do what you usually do: Just keep quiet and let China believe they own you while you do your own thing.

Serious consequences (5, Funny)

Thanshin (1188877) | about a year ago | (#45279845)

The mistake is more important than one may think at first, because Taiwan is one of the places the navigator will take you through in the path from your home to the local grocery store.

Re:Serious consequences (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45280069)

Good one.

I found the Apple maps are totally out of date for my city - about 4 years out. Neither my house, nor my place of employment is visible, never mind the roads. Even the satellite photos are out of date. It is totally useless.

Re:Serious consequences (1)

Pope (17780) | about a year ago | (#45280315)

Mine just says "Formosa." Isn't that a cheese?

First Post (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45279855)

but apple maps will probably show it as second post.

Province or nation? (1)

Tanktalus (794810) | about a year ago | (#45279861)

If the map says Taiwan (ROC) is a nation, that will offend mainland China (PRC). If the map says Taiwan is a province of PRC, that offends Taiwan.

Really, they're screwed either way.

At $work, we are mandated to call ROC a "region". That's as accurate as we can go without offending anyone.

Re:Province or nation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45279983)

It's common to lable these sorts of places as "governed by X, claimed by Y", "disputed" or something similar. Not difficult at all.

Re:Province or nation? (2, Funny)

tgd (2822) | about a year ago | (#45281055)

It's common to lable these sorts of places as "governed by X, claimed by Y", "disputed" or something similar. Not difficult at all.

Or, even easier, just mark it as Norway or something.

Re:Province or nation? (5, Insightful)

stewsters (1406737) | about a year ago | (#45279987)

Well, there is a solution to this. Apple maps is used on a device with gps tracking, so when you are physically located in mainland China you can say that Taiwan is a province of China, and when you are in Taiwan you say that it's a separate nation. Problem solved, everyone happy except fishermen using the app. But get a real waterproof gps if you are on a boat.

Re:Province or nation? (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about a year ago | (#45280059)

When you are not in mainland China or Taiwan what does it say? I doubt Chinese government would accept that as they have a problem with Taiwan being displayed as a separate country to anyone in the world.

Re:Province or nation? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#45281159)

you label it on chosen locale of the phone - that locale dictates what the countries are called anyways.

it becomes complicated of course, since you have to eventually go as far as to check what every country the locale might be set to thinks about the issue.

OR they could just go the easy way and say that they called Taiwan and they said they were a sovereign country and that be the end of that. eventually china has to concede that it's a different country, since you can do that call from china too. or what do they say to people who try to go to taiwan from china? there's plenty of trade so it's not like they didn't know how the issue is...

I mean, Taiwan doesn't try to say that they own all of china anymore either.

another possible weasel out is to just label it straight there on the map that chinese think they own it but that they're a sovereign nation that acts internationally as if they were a real nation and have a link to the history of uncensored versions of both countries histories.

Re:Province or nation? (1)

sociocapitalist (2471722) | about a year ago | (#45280341)

Well, there is a solution to this. Apple maps is used on a device with gps tracking, so when you are physically located in mainland China you can say that Taiwan is a province of China, and when you are in Taiwan you say that it's a separate nation. Problem solved, everyone happy except fishermen using the app. But get a real waterproof gps if you are on a boat.

Google and China are on "Fuck You" terms so I don't see why Google would bother making China happy.

Re:Province or nation? (1)

JackieBrown (987087) | about a year ago | (#45281107)

This is about Apple Maps not Google Maps

Re:Province or nation? (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a year ago | (#45281203)

Maps are never a fun job. Especially over disputed regions.

Hell, Microsoft had the problem when they allowed people to select the time zone using the map [msdn.com] (as may Linux distributions do these days). There were huge fights over a few pixels.

Google and China are on "Fuck You" terms so I don't see why Google would bother making China happy.

Technically, Google is banned in China - so Google Maps doesn't even have to care. It's also why Android phones sold in China have to come with third party app stores because Play store isn't available, and why Chinese phones usually end up with epidemics of Android malware. (The Chinese app stores are really bad about cleaning their crap up and often accept cracked and pirated apps).

It's just another thing anyone who does a map has to deal with in the end.

Re:Province or nation? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45279995)

Facts aren't decided by politics. Can the Chinese government tell residents of Taiwan what to do? If not, then Taiwan is de facto independent.

Re:Province or nation? (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#45280095)

Facts aren't decided by politics. Can the Chinese government tell residents of Taiwan what to do? If not, then Taiwan is de facto independent.

Binary decision trees also tend to be of limited use in the real world: Does Beijing deliver the mail and fine you for traffic violations in Taiwan? No. Are there things that Taiwan could theoretically do; but never would because that would make China rage out? Quite possibly.

Re:Province or nation? (2)

jonbryce (703250) | about a year ago | (#45281215)

Even if Taiwan was a province of China they probably wouldn't do those things. Here in England, my local council fines me for traffic violations, and I've yet to see much evidence that anyone delivers the mail.

Re:Province or nation? (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | about a year ago | (#45281295)

Ask Chen Shuibian. He came nearly as close to reigniting open war with China as anybody since the Nixon era. The fact that it didn't happen suggests that Taiwan's options remain fairly open so long as they can get external cooperation (that's where China has its real leverage, leaning on potential allies of Taiwan to not sell them things or make certain political arrangements). Then again it hasn't been much of an issue since Ma Yingjeou's administration has made it a policy to fellate the PRC in secret back-room concession fests at every opportunity.

Re:Province or nation? (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year ago | (#45279999)


If the map says Taiwan (ROC) is a nation, that will offend mainland China (PRC).

Apple could have used GeoIP to give the politically correct answer inside China ... not sure if the great firewall is doing deep packet modification yet.

I don't think anybody outside China goes to China first when dealing with Taiwan.

Re:Province or nation? (0)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year ago | (#45280015)

Really, they're screwed either way.

No, they're not. Taiwan is a small, relatively stagnant market. China is a huge, rich, powerful, and growing market.

Apple knows damn well which to kneel before.

Re:Province or nation? (2)

schneidafunk (795759) | about a year ago | (#45280021)

Just use Google's solution: "Google also sparked anger on the island when the company's maps listed Taiwan as a Chinese province. Now the company's maps simply call the island Taiwan, adding nothing more."

Re:Province or nation? (0)

C0R1D4N (970153) | about a year ago | (#45280085)

Let us just roll back to before the disputes and call it Formosa.

Re:Province or nation? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45280339)

Uh, it is still called Formosa, quite commonly.

Re:Province or nation? (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year ago | (#45281181)

In what? Portugese?

Re:Province or nation? (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | about a year ago | (#45281339)

Formosa has colonial connotations. It's remained somewhat in use because it's denotative meaning is flattering, but yeah... it's a reminder of the various European occupations.

Re:Province or nation? (1)

pmontra (738736) | about a year ago | (#45280067)

Yes. In my (little) direct experience with Asian politics Asia was always made of "countries and territories", not stating which one is what. Other areas of the world are made only of countries. Region is another safe choice.

Re:Province or nation? (-1, Flamebait)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about a year ago | (#45280995)

It does not matter who is screwed!
Taiwan is aa souverain nation!
Being not able to reflect this on an map application (in the year 2013) is just utter FAIL!

Re:Province or nation? (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about a year ago | (#45281051)

Taiwan should just go to the UN and threaten to bombard China with Iranian nukes until the UN acknowledges them as a sovereign nation.

Really this dispute is so stupid that at this point I'd just launch every ICBM in Taiwan at Shanghai so we don't have to deal with it anymore.

Re: Province or nation? (1)

jd2112 (1535857) | about a year ago | (#45281301)

This (multiplied by everywhere else in the world where there are similar territorial disputes) is why the time zone tool in Windows mo longer shows a map.

A Breakaway Province (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45279871)

Is what Taiwan is. Taiwan has no recognition as a sovereign state by the UN or by any other country. You can mark it as disputed but it probably is correct to say it is a province of China.

Re:A Breakaway Province (5, Insightful)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year ago | (#45280011)

No, it isn't. Beijing doesn't control anything that goes on in Taiwan, much as they'd like to. Yeah, they used to make hostile noises in the past whenever Taiwan spoke of formally declaring independence, but it ultimately didn't amount to much. But Taiwan controls everything of its own, including its foreign & defense policies - not something that can be said about the province of any country

Re:A Breakaway Province (3, Insightful)

Luckyo (1726890) | about a year ago | (#45280705)

You are wrong according to both Taiwanese and Chinese. Both view themselves as "China that has rights to controlling all of Chinese territory". I.e. Republic of China government that is located in Taiwan claims that entire mainland China is their territory and Taiwan is just one province.
People's Republic of China that is located on mainland has the exactly same claim. It's basically two different regimes that (mostly, discounting Mongolia issue) agree that China encompasses both Taiwan and mainland, but disagree on which government is legitimate one. This is because both claimed to be legitimate governments back in the days of civil war, and one side was simply pushed out of mainland and into Taiwan, but never finished off.

Even Taiwanese tend to forget this because official propaganda doesn't like to talk about this inconvenient truth. However you can check yourself both from history books, or even wikipedia and its sources.

Re:A Breakaway Province (1)

tgd (2822) | about a year ago | (#45281111)

No, it isn't. Beijing doesn't control anything that goes on in Taiwan, much as they'd like to. Yeah, they used to make hostile noises in the past whenever Taiwan spoke of formally declaring independence, but it ultimately didn't amount to much. But Taiwan controls everything of its own, including its foreign & defense policies - not something that can be said about the province of any country

Clearly you've never been to Texas.

Re:A Breakaway Province (2)

jklovanc (1603149) | about a year ago | (#45280725)

Taiwan is recognized by 22 countries [wikipedia.org] . Many other countries have trade offices [wikipedia.org] .

Manny being Manny (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45279889)

Apple being Apple?

And if they change it they will still be wrong (2)

wiredog (43288) | about a year ago | (#45280009)

Because the PRC has a billion potential customers who think Taiwan is a province of mainland China.

Re:And if they change it they will still be wrong (3, Insightful)

neonKow (1239288) | about a year ago | (#45280143)

Correction: nobody actually thinks that. It's just the official government policy to refer to it that way.

Re:And if they change it they will still be wrong (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about a year ago | (#45280179)

Correction: nobody actually thinks that.

Oh, yes, they do. The Chinese government very definitely regards Taiwan as one of its provinces. Temporarily not under its control, of course, but rejoining the mainland is inevitable. I'm not saying that's true, or right, but there's no doubt they regard it that way.

Re:And if they change it they will still be wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45280421)

The Chinese government != the people.

Re:And if they change it they will still be wrong (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#45280745)

dot dot dot regardless of what the government says.

Re:And if they change it they will still be wrong (2)

Luckyo (1726890) | about a year ago | (#45281087)

ROC government headquartered in Taiwan thinks exactly the same thing. Mainland China is simply temporarily not under its control. Both governments view entirety of China, including mainland and island of Taiwan as their territory.

Re:And if they change it they will still be wrong (3, Interesting)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about a year ago | (#45281331)

ROC government headquartered in Taiwan thinks exactly the same thing. Mainland China is simply temporarily not under its control. Both governments view entirety of China, including mainland and island of Taiwan as their territory.

Not really. The ROC government has for a long time only had seats for districts in Taiwan itself. Really, only the fear of a violent PRC reaction (an invasion would be unlikely but not unimaginable) keeps Taiwan from just declaring itself independent of the rest of China.

Re:And if they change it they will still be wrong (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45280215)

And coerces the Chinese, to the point that we've had chinese developers walk away from projects that refused to bow to the Chinese version of reality (probably because they were afraid of repercusions if they didn't).

Re:And if they change it they will still be wrong (4, Funny)

fliptout (9217) | about a year ago | (#45280925)

Yes, they do. I remember telling a group of Chinese doctors that I thought it strange that Taiwan has its own currency, defense force, and government if it was part of China. Oh, China liberated Tibet from an oppressive regime, too.

Re:And if they change it they will still be wrong (1)

jonbryce (703250) | about a year ago | (#45281263)

Some of the British Colonies have their own currencies. All of them have their own governments.

Re:And if they change it they will still be wrong (4, Insightful)

Hardhead_7 (987030) | about a year ago | (#45280187)

There's a difference between being wrong, and people thinking something is wrong. For instance, it doesn't matter how many people think Global Warming is a hoax - they're wrong.

Similarly, it doesn't matter if a billion customers think Taiwan is part of China. The real objective truth is Taiwan operates independently. The clue might be that the Taiwan Government is the one complaining.

''Mistake'' (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45280031)

"We're preparing for the future. Because you ARE going to end up belonging to china.
And we want to suck up to china as much as possible now. So we can do business with them now and in the future."

Reality check guys... The next century belongs to china. We'd best get used to it folks.
Because there aint fuckall we could do to stop it. Economically or militarily.
Go back two or three decades and make a bunch of different choices.
But until time travel is a thing. Nope. Can't stop it now.

You young kids under 20. You want some long term career advice? Learn to read/write/speak chinese.

Editors? (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about a year ago | (#45280105)

Taiwan is demanding Apple revise its map data

FTFY. There is a difference between data and software and we should understand that.

Re:Editors? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45280291)

There is a difference between data and software and we should understand that.

Ever tried to explain that to John Von Neumann?

Isn't this what the Taiwanese believe as well? (5, Informative)

jfruh (300774) | about a year ago | (#45280153)

Both the government of the People's Republic of China (which controls the mainland) and the government of the Republic of China (which controls Taiwan) believe that Taiwan is a part of China. The two just disagree about who China's rightful government is. I realize that over the past 60 years Taiwan has grown more and more self-contained and has become a de facto state independent of China, but in theory there's nothing either side should object to in portraying Taiwan as part of China.

Re:Isn't this what the Taiwanese believe as well? (2)

McGregorMortis (536146) | about a year ago | (#45280303)

In another sense, China is a province of Taiwan. It just happens to be under the control of a band of rebels at present.

Re:Isn't this what the Taiwanese believe as well? (5, Informative)

bsDaemon (87307) | about a year ago | (#45280323)

My wife was born in Taiwan. She and anyone in her family gets extremely angry if you refer to them as "Chinese," despite being ethnically Chinese, speaking Mandarin, etc. Good luck convincing her, her family, or frankly anyone else Tawainese I've ever met that they're "part of China" and that there is "nothing they should object to."

That said, this is a result of using ISO codes instead of FIPS codes. We had a customer escalation come through a while back about Taiwan being listed as a province of China in our geolocation information. We had switched from a FIPS 10-4 source to an ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 source, which ad the side effect of pissing off our Taiwanese customers.

Re:Isn't this what the Taiwanese believe as well? (3)

Rude Turnip (49495) | about a year ago | (#45280513)

"My wife was born in Taiwan. She and anyone in her family gets extremely angry if you refer to them as "Chinese," despite being ethnically Chinese, speaking Mandarin, etc."

My dad's wife is from Taiwan and is exactly the opposite. Although I never asked what she thought about Taiwan being a part of China.

Re:Isn't this what the Taiwanese believe as well? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45280825)

MY wife is from Taiwan, and she's Hakka. You can call her "Chinese" because Hakka is a considered a Chinese minority. But don't call her "Taiwanese", because Taiwanese culture has its own distinctive traits.

Re:Isn't this what the Taiwanese believe as well? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45280773)

Half of my blood family is from Taiwan and, while they don't recognise PRC authority, none object to being called Chinese.

Re:Isn't this what the Taiwanese believe as well? (2)

PhilHibbs (4537) | about a year ago | (#45280815)

And yet the country calls itself "Zhnghuá Mínguó", which means "Republic of China".

Re:Isn't this what the Taiwanese believe as well? (2)

PhilHibbs (4537) | about a year ago | (#45280843)

Or, is she one of the 2% of pre-Chinese indigenous population?

Re:Isn't this what the Taiwanese believe as well? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45281151)

My wife was born in Taiwan. She and anyone in her family gets extremely angry if you refer to them as "Chinese,"

Well, your wife and her family are idiots.

Taiwan refers to itself officially as the Republic of China:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taiwan [wikipedia.org]

http://www.roc-taiwan.org/mp.asp?mp=1 [roc-taiwan.org]

Re:Isn't this what the Taiwanese believe as well? (1)

trmj (579410) | about a year ago | (#45280715)

The argument is less over which one controls all of China than it is over which one is the "Real China". The current governing bodies of both refer to a "One China, Two Areas" rule which allows them to cooperate economically without fighting.

Having spent some time in Taiwan, the people there refer to themselves as Chinese, not Taiwanese. They don't speak Mandarin, they speak Chinese. Which is to say, their national identity is "Chinese" and that's what works for them. They also have a standing military that is completely independent of PRC.

That said, the only reason they can maintain that independence is because of how close they are tied to the US. RoC knows it, we know it, and Mainland China knows it.

Re:Isn't this what the Taiwanese believe as well? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45281125)

I've often wondered what does the US get in return for maintaining the independence of such a small place?

Re:Isn't this what the Taiwanese believe as well? (4, Interesting)

Arker (91948) | about a year ago | (#45280751)

It's actually a topic of controversy in the ROC today.

The ROC and the PRC, recall, were united for a time under Dr. Sun Yat Sen and they both claim the same territory as that original, united ROC claimed. That means both officially define Taiwan as a province of China, and themselves as the lawful government over all the provinces of China. This is not new.

But there is also a significant undercurrent of nativist and japanophile sentiment for independence in Taiwan, and not everyone agrees with that de jure interpretation. This faction is not new either and has actually become popular enough to control the government at least part of the time, so it's not hard to find officials asserting the very opposite. It's a very contentious issue. The apparent impossibility of liberating the PRC held territory, and a strong desire not to be absorbed by it, is probably a main cause of the increase in independence sentiment.

I dont live there and am not pretending to be an authority, just a sinophile sharing what I have observed.

Re:Isn't this what the Taiwanese believe as well? (4, Interesting)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | about a year ago | (#45280807)

Both the government of the People's Republic of China (which controls the mainland) and the government of the Republic of China (which controls Taiwan) believe that Taiwan is a part of China. The two just disagree about who China's rightful government is. I realize that over the past 60 years Taiwan has grown more and more self-contained and has become a de facto state independent of China, but in theory there's nothing either side should object to in portraying Taiwan as part of China.

This is quite simplistic and as a result a little inaccurate. Taiwan has two major political camps, just like the US. They hate each other. The "pan blue" group is the KMT (currently in the majority and holding the presidency) and some aligned smaller parties. The "pan green" group is the DPP and some aligned smaller parties. The previous president was DPP. The problem is that the DPP in general are crazy, independence fanatics who want to announce at every opportunity that Taiwan is its own nation, even if they die as a result (they are not smart enough to realize this might happen). The KMT is more realistic, and reunification is truly their goal, yes, but not now. They look towards maybe 100 years or more in the future for that. China has to change a lot for them to agree to rejoin it. The KMT interprets "one China" in a very different way from China (they define "one China" basically as "Taiwan"). The problem is that the DPP dummies keep trying to say and do things that might get Taiwan invaded and the KMT is much better at playing the "Whatever you say, boss!" game. The DPP fails to recognize that some of what the KMT does (again, they are currently in charge of the government) is not sincere but just designed to placate China. So the DPP constantly accuses the KMT of "selling out" Taiwan to China and trying to secretly reunify them and the KMT fears that if the DPP ever got control of the government again (this is a very realistic possibility in the next presidential elections), their impatience would lead them to do something stupid and get Taiwan invaded. Given the recent posturing by China in the South China Sea, this is not a groundless fear.

Re:Isn't this what the Taiwanese believe as well? (1)

Kagato (116051) | about a year ago | (#45281313)

At the same time the two are hitched economically. The long and short of it is millions of jobs in mainland China are at Taiwanese owned companies. An outright war between the two would devastate the Chinese economy. You're seeing more and more Taiwanese companies hedge their bets with new factories in other parts of Asia, India and Latin America.

It's complicated.. (2)

Dynamoo (527749) | about a year ago | (#45280183)

It's complicated [wikipedia.org] .. basically it is de facto a nation, but it is not necessarily a nation de jure. But if you want one of the most likely kick-off points for World War III it is the issue of Taiwanese independence..

Because China matters, duh (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | about a year ago | (#45280209)

And Taiwan doesn't.

"Mistake"? (1)

J'raxis (248192) | about a year ago | (#45280221)

This isn't the first time such a mistake was made. Google also labeled Taiwan as a Chinese province in 2005.

I don't think this is a "mistake." Taiwan's status is an open question and Apple is probably choosing whichever side will benefit them more. Where's their bigger customer base, the island or the mainland?

Re:"Mistake"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45280373)

I don't think this is a "mistake." Taiwan's status is an open question and Apple is probably choosing whichever side will benefit them more. Where's their bigger customer base, the island or the mainland?

Also to add the official US government policy is that Taiwan is part of china. Same thing in the UN. Apple is 100% correct in listing Taiwan as part of China.

Re:"Mistake"? (3, Interesting)

jklovanc (1603149) | about a year ago | (#45280805)

It is also the position of 22 nations that Taiwan is a separate country.

Re:"Mistake"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45281307)

It is also the position of 22 nations that Taiwan is a separate country.

Out of 173 total nations. Again Official UN policy is that Taiwan in not a separate nation. Apple is 100% correct.

Land Division (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45280297)

It says "China's Taiwan Province" according to Google Translate, in that order (English possessive added). So, either Apple needs to change that, or rename Canada a US territory.

Let's fix this once and for all (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45280525)

.. and return ownership to it's rightful owners:

  the Dutch, of course.

One China Policy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45280655)

There is only one China, and its capital is Taipai.

Treaty of San Francisco (4, Informative)

slew (2918) | about a year ago | (#45280857)

I suggest reading about the Treaty of San Francisco, Treaty of Taipei, and the Treaty of Shimonoseki before commenting about the Taiwan / PROC dispute...

The current status of Taiwan probably most similar to that of Germany. Where Germany was divided up into 4 zones after the war (US, UK, France, Russia), Taiwan is apparently effectively a US occupied zone until its fate is determined. It was recognized as an occupied territory of Japan before/during the war, but required that Japan relinquish control of Taiwan (and other territories acquired before the war) as a penalty for pre-war territorial aggressions. However, the treaty never specified to which government it was to go to (mainly because of the civil war between the ROC and the PROC which happened at the end of WWII).

The Treaty of Taipei (a separate peace treaty between Japan and the ROC, since abrogated by Japan when they recognized the PROC government), specifically ceded Taiwan to the ROC government. It's sort of a title to Taiwan that the ROC has waived around in the past, but it is unclear how the PROC ultimately winning the civil war affected the status of this document.

The US is pretty much in a conundrum. It could probably legally cede Taiwan to the PROC under the theory promulgated by the Treaty of San Francisco (give the island back to the country had it before Japan took it, this is what the UK wanted to do), or they can do nothing and claim that this is an internal issue between the ROC and PROC governments (I believe this is the continuing official US stance since the treaty), or they might twist the treaty wording and assert that Taiwan has the right to self-determination (which is of course what the US wants to do, but is opposed by the PROC and probably is too far a twist from a legal sense).

Originally, the US was sitting on its treaty status over Taiwan as part of a greater anti-communist sphere-of-influence policy. Now, it is probably merely attempting to get better terms for a PROC takeover by sitting on their hands until they get a deal that Taiwan is okay with. This has basically stalled because Taiwan doesn't appear that it would be happy with any PROC takeover (however, they are no-doubt looking at the Hong Kong 2-system situation with great interest).

Preferences menu (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45281315)

Just add a setting to the preferences menu:

Show Taiwan as: (x) independent; ( ) part of China

They could also include other regions such as Quebec, Catalonia, Scotland, Cyprus, Texas... the possibilities are endless!

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