Dear Andy Morris,
I’m writing concerning the factually incorrect statements about Taiwan Angus Reid is publicising on its corporate website.
"In 1895, following a military defeat, China ceded Taiwan to Japan. At the end of World War II, the island was returned to Chinese control. In 1949, as Mao Zedong’s communists were gaining prominence in mainland China, Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek established the Republic of China in Taiwan."
Unlike the People’s Republic of China, which was established IN 1949, the Republic of China was actually established in 1911 (a full 38 years prior to the PRC establishment). Whatever position one holds on Taiwan’s eventual state of existence, the ROC received control of Taiwan and the outlying islands back from Japanese control in 1945. The administration of the islands was transferred to the ROC under the leadership of Chiang Kai-shek.
When it became clear how precarious things were becoming in the civil war in 1949, the KMT began evacuations from the mainland as things became increasingly difficult. He did however come to represent the leadership for some considerable time for the ROC, and he was responsible for the Republic of China’s continued existence on Taiwan, even after 1949.
There are few parallels to explain the existence of the Republic of China in Taiwan in history, but that does not mean journalists and writers should simply gloss over the difficulties with careless language.
Other inaccuracies: Taiwanese president Ma Ying-jeou. He is the president of the Republic of China. If he were the Taiwanese president, then that would imply that there was a republic of Taiwan. There is not. Even the PRC acknowledges that he is not the president of Taiwan. If he were the president of Taiwan, I’m damned sure the PRC would have had something to say or do about it … and you’d all know about the situation.
A cursory read through of the Wikipedia entry would provide much of this information. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republic_of_China
Appreciate the time it takes to read this.
Kenneth J. Dickson
Of course, if Angus Reid were the only organization taking such liberties with the truth, I wouldn’t be worried. But the verbal slight of hand with this language is common on many much more prominent websites that employ ‘professionals’, such as CNN, BBC, New York Times, etc. Perhaps I should write my own stock paragraph about Taiwan’s complex history and sell it to them. I should point out that I am not pro-KMT, pro-DPP or even pro-CPC.