How China reports “Taiwan”

Xinhua News Agency, China’s official press agency, recently released a list of rules regarding the use of certain terms in official reporting, ranging on topics from daily life, legal jargon, religion, and of course, any reporting concerning Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macao. As China places tight control over its press and media, a Chinese person who has never stepped outside of his/her country is unlikely to realize that the rest of the world does not report the news the way it is done, and will probably believe whatever is written as facts.

Looking at the points concerning Taiwan, I can’t help but shake my head at how petty some of them are. But then again I guess China isn’t exactly taking any chances on anything that might suggest Taiwan is a separate country. Among the interesting points, we have the following:

Section 4: Banned terms concerning Chinese territories, sovereignty, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau

23. Hong Kong and Macau are Special Administrative Regions of China, Taiwan is a province of China. Any text, map, or graph has to pay special attention not to label them as “country”. Especially when multiple country and region names are used together, attention should be paid to not to forget the words “(countries) and regions”.

24. For any name of the Taiwan authorities “regime” system, when unavoidable, quotation marks should be added. For example, Taiwan “Legislative Yuan”, “Executive Yuan”, “Control Yuan”, “[Central] Election Commission”, “Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics, Executive Yuan”, etc. Words such as “Central”, “National”, “Chinese Taipei” should not be used, unless in unavoidable instances quotation marks should be added, such as Taiwan “Central Bank”, etc. Taiwan “Premier”, “Legislators” should all have quotation marks. Taiwan “[Nationa] Tsinghua University”, “[National] Palace Museum”, etc. should all have quotation marks. Using “President (Vice President) of the Republic of China” to name Leader of Taiwan Area is strictly prohibited, even with quotation marks.

25. Regarding the so-called “laws” implemented in Taiwan Area, “relevant regulations of Taiwan Area” should be used. When mentioning legal affairs concerning Taiwan, international legal terms “document verification”, “judicial assistance”, “extradition” should not be used.

27. “Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan tourists travel to China” should not be used. Instead, “Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan tourists travel to Mainland (or Inland)” should be used.

28. “Taiwan” and “Chinese Mainland (or Mainland)” are corresponding concepts. “Hong Kong, Macau” and “Inland” are corresponding concepts. The two sets should not be mixed.

29. Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau should not be mentioned as equivalent as China, such as “China-Hong Kong”, “China-Taiwan”, “China-Macau”. Instead, “Inland and Hong Kong”, “Mainland and Taiwan”, or “Beijing-Hong Kong”, “Shanghai-Hong Kong”, “Fujian-Taiwan” are acceptable.

30. Quotation marks are required for “Taiwan independence”.

31. Certain organizations in Taiwan with the words China or Chinese in their names, such as “Chinese Taoist Cultural Organization Union” and “Chinese Cross-Strait Marriage Coordination Association”, should have quotation marks added.

32. Taiwan cannot be called “Formosa”, quotation marks are required if it is mentioned in correspondence.

All I have to say is that this blog is proud to violate all aforementioned rules.

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