Sunday, August 1, 2010

ISO is absurd and immoral
when it calls Taiwan a province of China

ISO (International Organization for Standardization) calls Taiwan a province of China in ISO 3166.  See English country names and code elements.

I consider this alone a crime against humanity, as bad as Hitler or worse (most certainly from Taiwanese point of view):
  • What gives ISO the right to claim Taiwan a part of China against all historical facts and political realities?
  • If Taiwan were a province of China, then it is not a country.   Why then does ISO list it as a country?
  • If Taiwan were a province of Taiwan, why do people obtain visa from Taiwan, NOT China,  to go to Taiwan?  When in Taiwan, why do they use Taiwan dollars and NOT RMB?
All I ask from ISO folks is FAIRNESS!  Whatever country you are from, do you appreciate this:
Yo, Swiss, you are from a province of china. 
We Taiwanese resent ISO for its extreme insensitivity towards 23,000,000 Taiwanese.

Many of the 23,000,000 Taiwanese are devastated by this ISO 3166 madness that calls Taiwan a province of China, but they don't understand how extremely damaging ISO 3166 is.

A consequence of ISO 3166 is that tons of software have been written based on this standard.  As a result, ISO helps spreading the Chinese lie Taiwan is a province of China like wildfire.

With ISO 3166, ISO has made many angry Taiwanese write to companies asking them to stop calling Taiwan a province of China.  Most of these Taiwanese do not understand that the real culprit is ISO.   Otherwise they would have condemned ISO, instead of writing to companies that are simply using software based on ISO 3166. 

To clarify, I hereby show a response of a letter I wrote Moodle protesting its web site listing Taiwan as a province of China:
Thank you for contacting us regarding this matter.

Moodle uses the International Organization for Standardization list on and in the software (see We do not decide what countries are included or the naming conventions. The administrator of a Moodle site can modify this list. For more information, see this thread:

Michael Blake
Operations Manager
ISO folks, what inspiration caused you to hurt 23,000,000 Taiwanese calling Taiwan a province of China? Why don't you say:
Switzland, a province of China
China, a province of Taiwan
To the latter, Taiwanese will surely protest. Because Taiwanese have no territorial ambition towards China.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. 河水永遠是相同的,可是每一剎那又都是新的。............................................................

  5. Technically speaking, from both the ROC's (or should I say KMT) and PRC's point of view is that Taiwan is a province of China. However, they disagree on whether China should be ruled under ROC or PRC rule.

    Also, as far as the Chinese are concerned, the reason Taiwan uses NT and Hong Kong uses HKD (?) is that they are both 特區 (sorry, my English fails me here).

    If you take a closer look at ISO 3166, you'll notice that Hong Kong is listed as well, although it is not a country (territory of UK before being returned to the PRC government). However, it lacks the "Province/Territory of China" label.

    This begs the question: "Why is the offending label put upon Taiwan but not Hong Kong?"

    This, I have no answer to. It's completely hypocritical and an obvious logical fallacy.

    Also, you are wrong about all Taiwanese being offended by this. If you walk around Taipei, you'll quickly figure out that some Taiwanese align themselves with China... but I digress.

    The fact is, China has too much influence (ie. UN, Olympics, etc).

    When Taiwan has to compete in sports, the official team has to use "Chinese Taipei". This is just as ridiculous as "Taiwan, Province of China".

    However, the most respectful thing to put is really "Taiwan". The next most respectful thing to put is "Taiwan, ROC". Even "ROC" is a bit offensive to me. Nobody in Taiwan calls Taiwan "ROC" on a daily basis.

    We are Taiwanese, whether China or the world agrees, and we deserve the respect to be called such.