February 7, 2020 Taiwan: Terminology & Language Bias

Is Taiwan a Renegade Province?

Taiwan is not, and has never been, a province of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Referring to Taiwan as a “renegade province” insinuates that Taiwan is a province of China that suddenly decided to rebel and leave. This is incorrect. Taiwan was governed from China for a brief period (1887- 1895), but was ceded […]

February 1, 2020 Taiwan: Terminology & Language Bias

What Does Using the Term *Mainland China* Imply for Taiwan?

The term “Mainland China” tacitly implies that Taiwan is part of Chinese territory. Analysts and journalists frequently use the term “mainland” to refer to the PRC. The term appears in most writings about Taiwan, China, and cross-Strait relations. A search yields the following definition: Mainland: A large continuous extent of land that includes the greater […]

December 20, 2017 Taiwan: Terminology & Language Bias

Will Taiwan Reunify with China?

Should Taiwan and China join together in the future, they would unify. By definition, they can never reunify. The term reunify is problematic, because it falsely implies that Taiwan and China were once a single entity that then split. This is incorrect. The Republic of China (Taiwan) has never been a part of the People’s […]

November 23, 2017 Taiwan: Terminology & Language Bias

Why Do Articles About Taiwan Use So Many Scare Quotes?

Scare quotes — aka sneer quotes or quibble marks — are quotation marks surrounding words of phrases to indicate non-standard word usage. Writers use the marks to signpost irony, doubt, skepticism, or disagreement. They allow writers to express distance between the word or phrase and the author of the text. Chinese media use scare quotes […]

June 16, 2017 Taiwan: Terminology & Language Bias

Why is the Taiwan President called Leader or Ruler?

Articles sometimes refer to the President as just the “leader” or “ruler” of Taiwan, rather than using their correct title. This minimizes the President’s role, and essentially demotes them to a provincial leader or regional administrator instead of a head of state. Chinese journalists are expressly prohibited from using “President (or Vice President) of the […]