Friday, June 06, 2008

"Visiting China" Right All Along

"Visiting China" Right All Along
Bevin Chu
June 6, 2008

A note to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Don't backpedal, for Christ's sake. "Visiting China" was right all along. The name of the nation is "Republic of China."

The Republic of India is India. The Republic of Korea is Korea. The Republic of China is China.

Therefore when foreign dignitaries arrive in Taipei, they are indeed "visiting China."

Flip-flopping Undermines Ma Administration's Credibility

United Daily News reporter Wang Guangci
A Translation
June 6, 2008

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs instructed its overseas offices to replace the expression "fang hua" (visiting Taiwan) with "fang hua" (visiting China). Only three short hours after the media reported this policy change, Minister of Foreign Affairs Francisco Ou performed a 180 degree about face. Three days ago, during a press conference, Ou stressed that future foreign policy would be "flexible and pragmatic." Sure enough, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has set a new standard for "flexibility and pragmatism."

Whether to refer to the visits of foreign guests as "visiting Taiwan" or "visiting China" involves sensitive domestic political considerations. Such decisions ought to made with care. It is unlikely that Ou made such a policy decision by himself.

Minister Ou said, "Calling a halt to this change was my personal decision." Does that mean the original decision was also the Minister's personal decision? Both foreign and domestic policy decisions ought to be made be in accordance with certain standards. Rapid flip-flopping on major policy decisions can only undermine the Minister's crediblity and damage the Minister's prestige.

朝令夕改 自傷威信
【聯合報╱記者王光慈】
2008.06.06 02:42 am

外交部通電外館以「訪華」取代「訪台」被媒體披露後,外交部長歐鴻鍊的態度在短短三個小時內,卻有一百八十度大轉變。對照三天前歐鴻鍊與媒體茶敘時,強調未來推動外交政策將採「靈活、彈性」原則,外交部果然劍及屨及,再創劉內閣經典代表作。

外賓來台應用「訪台」或「訪華」,牽涉到國內政局的敏感神經,本來就應慎重。這樣的決策,恐怕不是歐部長一人說了算。

歐部長說,「喊停是我自己的思考。」所以當時決定,也是部長個人意志嗎?政策的制定,無論是對外推行或對內運作,都須依照規則標準。政策朝令夕改,官員無所適從,對部長的威望實是一大重創。

公文書稱外賓訪「華」政院:非政策指示
【中央社╱台北五日電】
2008.06.05 10:29 pm

外交部日前通電駐外人員在公文書對外賓來訪,「適宜」稱「訪問中華民國」或「訪華」,引發外界去台灣化疑慮。新聞局長史亞平今天表示,這不是行政院的政策 指示或基調,也不是去台灣化,行政院長劉兆玄已指示外交部通盤研究、妥善處理,未來對名稱使用可以討論出大家普遍的用法。

外交部日前通電外館請駐外人員在公文書於外賓來訪時,「適宜」稱「訪問中華民國」或「訪華」,但未嚴格規定不能使用「訪台」。外交部長歐鴻鍊下午指出,將再通電外館,把這項指令「暫緩實施」,等到國內有共識後再說。

史亞平晚間受訪表示,這不是行政院的政策指示或基調,出現此一公文,可能是幕僚希望政府在對外文件上有統一的名稱,但外界有不同意見,外交部也予暫緩,行政院長劉兆玄已指示外交部,通盤研究,妥善處理,未來對於名稱使用可以討論出大家普遍的用法。

外界質疑外交部的作法是去台灣化,史亞平表示,這不是去台灣化,外界想太多,外交部是涉外機構,必須處理國家重要文件、條約、締約書、備忘錄等,還有參與國際組織會提到國家名稱,因此必須優先處理這類問題。

她解釋,外交部長年因應不同國際情勢、兩岸情勢,我們的國家對外該怎麼稱呼?外交部每隔一陣子都會檢討對外名稱使用問題,以參與國際組織為例,外交部會權衡國際局勢、兩岸情勢,提出正式名稱的建議方案並列出優先順序,再根據國內外局勢選擇適用且大家能接受的名稱。

史亞平指出,外交部有統一的作法後,各部會若與國際組織簽署備忘錄或重要文件,要用何種名稱,都會先報外交部,採取統一名稱。


台『訪台』改『訪華』規定因綠營反對暫緩實施
北京新浪網 (2008-06-05 18:20)

  環球時報•環球網消息:香港中評社5日報導,在綠營人士強烈反彈下,台當局『外交部長』歐鴻煉當天說,『外交部』近日會發電報通知各『外館』,暫緩實施先前發布的『公文書適宜使用外賓訪華』的指令。

  台當局『外交部』日前通電『外館』,請駐外人員在公文書提到在外賓來訪時,『適宜』稱『訪問中華民國』或『訪華』。

  歐鴻煉5日下午召開記者會說,這是配合新當局的政策基調,在『總統府』未統一規定下,『外交部』先行的『權宜過渡』措施,他已建議台當局高層宜統一規範,讓各『部會』有所依循。

  他說,上述的電報並未禁止『外館』人員使用『訪台』的寫法,以前民進黨執政時,他在『外館』接到的指示就是要用『訪台』,他不清楚當時內部對此有沒有共識。

  歐鴻煉表示,既然現在外界對這件事有不同意見,新當局自然要多聽民意,『外交部』近日會再發電報通知各『外館』,暫緩實施上述指令,等內部v釵@識後再決定。(環球網 周選彬)

  更多精彩內容閱讀登錄環球網(www.huanqiu.com)

訪華?訪台?
【聯合報╱黑白集】
2008.06.09 03:07 am

外交部通令外館,今後外賓來訪,以「訪華」取代「訪台」;卻又在輿論質疑下,於幾小時內緊急喊卡。此事顯示出新部長歐鴻鍊可能根本未能領會馬政府的國家論述及兩岸論述,事態嚴重。

台灣政治問題的癥結,在民進黨將「中華民國」與「台灣」操作成敵對的概念;遂使台灣成為「鄉土沒有國家/國家沒有鄉土」的政治煉獄。經歷解嚴後「李扁時代」二十年來的衝撞,馬英九宣示「台灣在語義上等於中華民國」,劉兆玄亦說「中華民國就是台灣」,這些正是為「鄉土結合國家/國家結合鄉土」所作的努力。也就是說,民進黨的國家論述,問題不在鼓吹「台灣」,而在「去中華民國化」;同理,馬政府的國家論述只是反對「去中華民國化」,但絕對維護「台灣」。馬英九說,可以稱他「台灣的總統」,但他不是「台灣國的總統」。

外交部倘能通曉這套論述的變遷沿革,就絕不會發出以「訪華」取代「訪台」的通令。馬政府決定將「台灣郵政」改回「中華民國郵政」,但在英文的國號後面保留(Taiwan),這應是「鄉土結合國家」的設計。另者,據說中華民國護照封面加註Taiwan,亦將保留,也可作如是觀。

在這套論述思維下,歐鴻鍊說,不稱「中國」而稱「中國大陸」或「大陸」,是因避免「兩國論」,這種說法就可能亦有偏差;官方不稱「大陸」為「中國」,應是緣於「一中各表」,而非避諱「兩國論」。失諸毫釐,差以千里。

如今是「維持現狀」的時代,輿論早將「台/美/中」琅琅上口;若依歐鴻鍊的主張,難道要改口稱「華/美/中」?此事讓人窺見外交部長的腦袋,令人大驚失色!

6 comments:

  1. lewbee11:19 PM

    Mr. Chu, in your own opinion, do you consider Mongolia to be part of the Republic of China?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dear lewbee,

    Do you really think I don't know where you're going with this?

    Let me save you the trouble of trying to "set me up for the kill."

    The bottom line is, former victims of colonialism/imperialism such as China no longer need to explain themselves to Bearers of the White Man's Burden.

    ReplyDelete
  3. lewbee1:23 AM

    I apologize, Mr. Chu, but I had no idea that the issue of Mongolia was so sensitive. I actually had trouble comprehending your reply, and I have no clue how I could lure you into a trap with that question.

    I asked because in a previous article, which contained a map of the region near China, you remarked that Taiwan was not in the same colour as mainland China. However, Mongolia was in a different colour altogether, and you did not comment on Mongolia despite the Republic of China still technically claiming the Mongolian territory (or does it still?). I apologize if I should have posted the comment in that other article.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Bevin, you are absolutely right. Taiwan is Chinese, and if you visit Taiwan, you visit China. 8 years of policy of creeping independence has changed the mindset of some, but you cannot change the fact that Taiwan is Chinese soil. The KMT should solify the Chinese people's sovereignty over Taiwan and root out independence. I pity all those foreigners who want to split Taiwan from China. It will never succeed!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Dear lewbee,

    The status of Mongolia (i.e., Outer Mongolia) is different from the status of Taiwan.

    Advocates of Taiwan independence, as well as Taiwan independence fellow travellers, invariably cite Outer Mongolia in their attempt to invalidate the Republic of China Constitution.

    The bottom line is this: both the ROC Constitution and the PRC Constitution define Taiwan as an integral part of China.

    The ROC Constitution however differs from the PRC Constitution regarding Outer Mongolia.

    The ROC Constitution still defines Outer Mongolia as part of China, The PRC Constitution, on the other hand, defines Outer Mongolia as an independent nation.

    The reason the ROC Constitution has not been amended to reflect Outer Mongolia's independence, is that any move to fiddle with the ROC Constitution at this still sensitive period in history would drag in the issue of Taiwan along with it.

    Therefore no one on Taiwan except a tiny minority of Taiwan independence zealots is rash enough to demand a constitutional amendment redefining the nation's borders.

    In any event, this is not the business of anybody but those living in the concerned regions.

    It is a domestic Chinese issue, just as the US Civil War was a domestic US issue.

    It is certainly not the business of the US or Japan.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Dear zyzyx,

    Western neocolonialists and neoimperialists need to update themselves on the strategic picture.

    Former victims of Western colonialism and imperialism such as China are no longer so vulnerable to Western military blackmail. This is not 1842 any more. Nor is it 1895.

    ReplyDelete