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Taiwan vs. China: some facts never mentioned by pro-China forces


Dr. Billy Pan put together some comparisons to highlight the differences between Taiwan and China, which pro-China forces (including the majority of media in Taiwan) would never mention.

  1. The size of population in china is 58 times of that in Taiwan but their total national income is only 10 times greater than Taiwan’s.
  2.  Taiwan’s GDP per capita is 5 times more than that of China. Even though China’s economy has been growing rapidly, the gap between Taiwan and China has actually remained the same.
  3. In terms of PPP, Taiwan ranks 39th in the world whereas China ranks 133rd.
  4. China’s infant mortality (21.96/1000 live births) is 4 times of that in Taiwan (5.45).
  5. In China, 8% of the population live under the poverty line whereas there’s only 0.95% in Taiwan.
  6. The unemployment in Taiwan was 3.9% when the DPP handed it to the KMT and it’s now over 4% after Ma took over but the unemployment in China is estimated to be between 15-20%.
  7. On average, each individual in Taiwan have 1.06 mobile phones but those in China only have 0.41. In Taiwan, 57% of population have access and use the internet but there’s only 19% in China.
  8. Looking at Gini Index (the level of economic inequality, the greater the figure, the worse the inequality), Taiwan got 33 in 2000 and fell steadily between 2001 and 2006. China got 41 in 2001 and 47 in 2007. Well, inequality in a ‘communist’ regime is greater than a country generally considered ‘capitalist’?
  9. Taiwan’s corruption index is 5.7 but China is only 3.5 (worse). Corruption in China seems to be prevalent.
  10. Most importantly, Taiwan’s press freedom is 10, which ranks 32nd in the world but China is only 89, which is the 163rd place in the world and only better than 6 other countries. In other words, there’s literally NO press freedom in China!
  11. On average, 550,000 Taiwanese share an airport but in China, 2,840,000 people share an airport.
  12. The life expectancy in Taiwan is 4.6 years longer than in China.
  13. Looking at the Global Competitiveness Index, Taiwan is the 14th worldwide (5.25) and China comes the 34th (4.57).

No matter how much China has improved, Taiwan is still ahead of China on various measures. However much China has improved, it’s still a long way to go to bring China to where Taiwan is. The most important point is that not many Taiwanese consider themselves Chinese nor would Taiwanese accept the human rights abuse in China and let go of the freedom and democracy we have fought hard for. Unfortunately, the majority of press in Taiwan are pro-China or even owned by Chinese business and have been exaggerating China’s progress (which is limited to certain areas and certain social circles) and putting Taiwan down whenever they can.

In my opinion, if Taiwan were to unify with China, it would be like a teaspoon of coffee mate going into a big pot of black coffee. I am not convinced that Taiwan would be allowed to follow the HK model because there’s no one else to impress or lure with the HK model after Taiwan is also in their bag. In other words, they don’t have to worry about the image the present to Taiwan or to the world anymore. They can do pretty much anything to anyone especially now the Olympics is out of the way. This notion of ‘constructive engagement’ with China has pretty much failed and worse, it has handed the government the wealth and power to justify dictatorship to their people. Sadly, from my interactions with some highly educated Chinese living in the West, it seems that a lot of them actually buy this argument. Even if Taiwan does follow the HK model, China has broken their promises to HK, which just shows Taiwanese that China cannot be trusted.

As Ma insists on implementing policies that would drain the Taiwanese economy (e.g. encouraging more Taiwanese business to go to China when China’s economy is going downhill; boosting inflation by huge and sudden increases in petrol prices and electricity charges as well as massive government spending on infrastructures or building projects that are clearly not needed), it does make one wonder whether Ma is helping China close the gap between the two countries by dragging Taiwan down and pouring Taiwanese funds into China so that Taiwan can be forced to unify with China. Because democracy has developed for decades in Taiwan, I am worried about the possibility of a massacre in Taiwan if Taiwanese don’t do more right now to stop Ma from handing Taiwan to China.

47 Comments leave one →
  1. 12/09/2008 16:57

    nice article,


    (i got redirected from Michael Turton’s blog)

  2. Claudia Jean permalink*
    12/09/2008 17:05

    Hi Mash,

    Thanks for the compliment. Thanks for your interest in and support for Taiwan. I greatly appreciate it. Michael’s a great blogger. I’ve also been following his blog and learned a lot from him.

    Cheers :)

  3. 12/09/2008 17:44


    I’ve been interested in Taiwan for about 2 years now. I went there last year as an exchange student….absolutely loved it…didnt want to return home!

    I’m going back next month….can’t wait!

  4. Richard permalink
    12/09/2008 17:44

    Hi Claudia,

    I also got redirected from Michael Turton’s blog. Nice post. I’ve been feeling like everything is going China’s way for a decade now, often at the cost of Taiwan’s dignity and sovereignty. This article is just what I needed to hear.


  5. Claudia Jean permalink*
    12/09/2008 17:48

    Hi mash,

    I’m glad you like Taiwan and hope you have a good time in Taiwan this time.

  6. Claudia Jean permalink*
    12/09/2008 18:08

    Hi Richard,

    Thanks :) Billy Pan was the one putting together those comparisons and wrote it up in Chinese to raise awaness among Taiwanese. I found the original figures and sources he quoted and follow the way he presented those figures to form the base of my article. Although I wrote about my own thoughts on the comparisons, the credit should really go to Dr. Pan. He’s brilliant at finding and analysing figures. No wonder he’s one of the most respected Taiwanese bloggers.

    Looking at the media coverage, I feel that everything is going China’s way as well. I can’t believe how biased media reports (international or Taiwan based) are. This is one of the reasons I started writing about Taiwan. After following blogs like Michael’s and a few others for a while, I decided to give it a go. Even if Taiwan is taken by China eventually (looking at how others have caved in, it’s not entirely impossible), I want more people to know the truth about Taiwan and what Taiwanese really want.

  7. richard z permalink
    13/09/2008 18:54

    I also got redirected from Michael Turton’s blog
    Thank you and dr. Pan for all those great comparisons and very interesting comments !!!
    The one thing that i miss here and i think is very important, is the devastated environment, which says a lot about Chicom’s mentality and attitude to their own people. I wonder how much those guys start placing more importance on this issue because they want to look more civilized or because it might lead to massive protests (I do not think they suddenly started caring about the peoples’ wellbeing)

  8. Claudia Jean permalink*
    13/09/2008 19:11

    Thanks, richard z.

    I’ll work on the environmental issues you mentioned in future. I have seen articles talking about China’s environment before but it seems more difficult to pull comparative figures on this one. I don’t think they care that much about human lives let alone wellbeing. Some Chinese told me that they have too many people in their country for the gov to care too much about human lives. Everything is about maintaining ‘stability’ so that they don’t lose power… Very sad. That’s why I’m very worried about how Ma is leading Taiwan into this trap.

  9. 13/09/2008 20:02

    Lots of Richards commenting you today, I guess I’ll join in! Thanks for posting this, as you mentioned, a lot of pro-China media bias these days, not only in Taiwan but also in western media. I’m glad you touched on the HK issue, as people don’t realize that Taiwan in all likelihood will not end up like HK. Maybe perhaps at the bargaining table, something like that will be presented, but as we all know, China’s word is worth nothing. They make promises to break them.

  10. Claudia Jean permalink*
    13/09/2008 20:21

    Hi Richard L,

    Thanks for dropping by :)

    I have noticed the bias in western media as well. A lot of them see Taiwan through the CCP or the KMT lenses. What surprises me is that the US media is less critical of China than the UK media. Even though BBC is quite critical of China, they still prefer the KMT to the DPP. When I read the BBC profiles on Ma and Hsieh, I could see the differences.

    I agree that China is not to be trusted. HK people didn’t learn from Tibet and now I’m just hoping that Taiwanese know to learn from HK. To be perfectly honest, a lot of people are still unaware of the kind of danger Taiwan is in because they still believe the pro-China media. I was reading George Kerr’s book, Formosa Betrayed and got this feeling that things that happened 60 years are happening again…

  11. 14/09/2008 06:58

    Thanks for a great — and necessary — post. I found your blog via View From Taiwan, and I’ll add it to my list of blogs to read regularly! The pro-China bias in international media has been something I’ve been banging on about in my own blog as well; it really is infuriating.

    Still, not everyone is lulled by pro-KMT, pro-China media. My extended family both in the US and back in Taiwan (we hail from Taipei and Pingtung) is full of DPP supporters who can’t stand KMT, Ma, or his China policy. We’re concerned, and I think there really is cause to be now.

  12. Claudia Jean permalink*
    14/09/2008 15:20

    Thanks Mad Minerva. I’m glad to hear that there are still a lot of pro-Taiwan supporters but at the same time, I’m worried about the level of awareness among Taiwanese. Still a lot of them believe that it’s OK to become another HK…

  13. 14/09/2008 18:26

    In my circles, the rallying idea is “We DON’T want to be another HK!” A good friend of mine is from HK, and she’s left to go to Australia.

  14. Claudia Jean permalink*
    14/09/2008 19:30

    It’s great that people like you are working hard to make our voice heard! Thank you for your hard work :)

  15. racketracer permalink
    24/10/2008 06:15

    Yes, I do not think that Taiwan can connect with China. However, China has basically all the jobs now and it is growing rapidly as well as losing it’s communism. Lots of Taiwanese people and you support the arguements against China but China status still remains high and I promise you. Whereever you do get your info. Why would China slaughter Taiwan? Taiwan is a weak country so it does need support. I do not get where you get your absurd idea from.

  16. Claudia Jean permalink*
    24/10/2008 15:21

    To racketracer,

    I don’t think my idea is absurd but yours very naive, if not biased.

    Yes, China is losing communism but they are not losing their dictatorship. China may be going strong economically but that doesn’t make it desirable for Taiwanese.

    Given the Taiwanese democracy and independence movements (now over 80% of Taiwanese want independence), IF China does take over Taiwan, why wouldn’t they eliminate oppositions and challenges by force like they did to Tibet and East Turkistan? China didn’t do themselves any favor in this regard by those mass murders they committed.

    HK is relatively peaceful because HK people don’t have a long history of pro-democracy and pro-independence movements and China has been nice to HK to make it a showcase for Taiwan. Once Taiwan is taken, why would China to be nice to anyone? I don’t trust China as far as I can throw them.

  17. clover permalink
    18/11/2008 00:37


  18. 22/02/2009 12:15

    Your site came up as a suggested site (automatically generated) in a post on my Blog. I have added a link under the Good Morning, Taiwan! category of my sidebar.

    Keep writing!!

    • Claudia Jean permalink*
      22/02/2009 17:39

      Thanks :) I love the story you wrote about your time in Taiwan!

  19. Chinakickstaiwanass permalink
    07/11/2009 07:35

    Take your c*ap elsewhere. China > Taiwan

    • Claudia Jean permalink*
      07/11/2009 17:06

      Right back at you cos this is my blog and I can say what I please/present what I found. Your comment just goes to show how rude Chinese/pro-China people are.

  20. Ron permalink
    03/01/2010 22:42

    Please don’t write articles like this. China is clearly the better one on the world’s stage. Just like the current world recession, China gave the most support in raising the world’s economy. You are not Chinese and you shouldn’t be influencing what other people are thinking. Chinese and Taiwanese are both children of the motherland. What makes you think that Taiwanese political difference between China can split its people from what they are?

    • Claudia Jean permalink*
      03/01/2010 22:49

      It’s my basic right to express my opinions. It’s called freedom of speech.

      If you listen to the latest Nobel Prize winner’s analysis, China has been keeping the Yuan low to gain unfair advantage in the current economic crisis, which will lead to a greater problem later on. What you describe is simply an image they are creating, not the reality.

      Eighty percent of Taiwanese are Ping-pu descendants rather than Han Chinese. This is a myth, coming from a lie told by the Chinese. Even if Taiwanese are ethnically connected to the Chinese, as long as they want to remain separate from the Chinese, this is again their basic rights. SELF-DETERMINATION is the highest principle. Taiwanese should decide their own future, not the Chinese.

      • 29/06/2011 19:59

        Let’s break this down into what if we are not Chinese and what if we are Chinese argument, although this bullock is so ridiculous as a point of logical reasoning. I have yet to hear one rational reason for any sort of unification but I am very very very open to it.

        “You are not Chinese and you shouldn’t be influencing what other people are thinking” and then say that we are all from the motherland?

        Unless you are slamming even foreigners who are for some sort of Chinese annexing of yet another independent nation, then you have no right to tell someone what they should or should not say. If you are trying to state for “Taiwanese” then I am sorry, I am Taiwanese first and how far back you want to reach into ancestral lines is ridiculous for my family tree. Do you know the twists and turns? The possible “dirtying” of lines that would make me possibly non-full “CHINESE” so therefore I have a quarter of a voice if I am a quarter of Chinese blood? And try to tell the indigenous population of Taiwan again that they don’t have a say in anything.

        Those in China in the last couple decades only grew up repressed by their own people; people in Taiwan have been repressed by various foreign entities that have COLONIZED the island, from immigrants, the Dutch, the Japanese, the Chinese, and I’ll even throw in some BS from Nixon here, so do not pretend to even to know that everyone shares some common 3,000 history. I don’t care what your grand daddy did because I know what mine went through and that includes being imprisoned for his independent beliefs by the Japanese, a warrant out for him by the ROC.

        Speaking of that — then if the United States could not speak for Chinese, then we would be off in a different place. Or any of the UN nations. Because Taiwan would definitely be seen as a country. I understand, because when foreigners suddenly agree with your stance apply to your rationalization and beliefs, THEN we can listen to foreigners.

        If you want to merge all Chinese peoples, how about claiming all territories that have China towns? Because there’s huge Chinese majorities in them.


        2) So kind sir, Ron, only the “Chinese” should be influencing what other people are saying? OK let’s pretend everyone is Chinese in Taiwan. Surprise! Don’t see Taiwan unified with China.

        Not sure which media outlets have been viewed by everyone but Chinese influence has really cut down on the actual history of this nation, with AP and other outlets only somehow stating the existence of Taiwan as “renegade province” that split when the ROC came over — discounting all other few hundred years of Taiwan history and its inhabitants who lived outside the jurisdiction and if you read Taiwan history, most conquerors only ruled the west cost of the island. You would also know that any attempts to mention independence or sovereignty have been threatened by China so under duress, I don’t see how anyone can speak for themselves.

        We should also look to how Chinese influence other countries when it comes to Taiwan — our heads of states are not allowed to visit the United States, Lee Teng Hui could barely get a visa to Japan for medical aid, the first exhibition for Ai Wei Wei was shut down this year as he went into detention (he was on his way to Taiwan to discuss the exhibition), so how free are the people when they can’t speak for themselves? Tell me if the people in China are able to speak for themselves or do you really believe everyone is a culprit of tax fraud, EXCEPT THE BILLIONAIRES.

        I know this hurts many people’s feelings but don’t understand why China cannot accept it this way — they’ve obviously accepted Singaporean Chinese, Indonesian Chinese, Malaysian Chinese, American Chinese, British Chinese, now how about some that want to claim Taiwanese Chinese, Taiwanese American, or simply, Taiwanese like my grandmother who was born in Taiwan during Japanese colonization and never really spoke Mandarin.

        Is this some sort of egotistical play? Why does anyone have to be annexed by China? Aren’t there enough people in China who need assistance, enough land, homes, and resources that they can do without 23 million extra? Give it up, colonization is so passe and over, everyone is just doing the best they can and we should all be focusing on our own human rights issues, housing problems, inflation, poverty, stray dogs, etc instead of this nonsense.

        The people of China should decide their own future, the people of Taiwan will also decide its own future. If you want to get involved then it’s no better than screaming at “western” states and “foreigners” to mind their own business. Go start a self sustaining farm in your neighborhood community, start a charity, help your elderly neighbor cross the streets. What we are surrounded by is more important than trying to control people in other places.

  21. 25/01/2010 10:18

    Interesting post! I think it is up to Taiwan to decide whether they shuld join the PRC, but I think that the PRC is right in claiming the island, since historically it does belong to mainland China.

    • Claudia Jean permalink*
      26/01/2010 15:11

      Hi Leonard, Thanks for your comment.

      Actually, Taiwan only officially belonged to China for 10 years. After defeating Koxinga’s son in 1683, Qing dynasty (the Manchu Empire, which was not seen as part of the Chinese lineage) hesitated to incorporate Taiwan into their territory for almost a year because the Emperor considered Taiwan ‘useless’. It should also be noted that Qing Dynasty never had control of the whole of Taiwan until 1885 and Taiwan only officially became a province in 1885. For 200 odd years, Qing could only manage the Tainan area. However, only ten years after Taiwan was made a province, China permanently ceded Taiwan to Japan after losing a war to Japan. The way Qing dynasty managed Taiwan was like a colony rather than a formal territory because only single males were allowed to go to Taiwan and the infrastructure built there was meant for taking resources from Taiwan rather than building it up as one would for part of their own home. The Taiwanese and those who migrated from China to Taiwan were left to fend for themselves without much government intervention.

      After WWII, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) went to Taiwan ON BEHALF OF THE UN. Taiwan was NOT returned to the Chinese government. The Cairo ‘Declaration’, which both China and the KMT allege to document the return of Taiwan to China, was in fact a press release that no one signed, hence, NO legal binding power. The Taiwanese was supposed to be given the chance of a referendum in relation to their future. The US simply turned a blind eye of the KMT’s illegal occupation of Taiwan.

      China and the KMT have lied about the historical links. In fact, there is an abundance of Chinese historical texts and maps and legal documents that prove that Taiwan was never part of China (especially PRC) before 1684 or after 1945. For example, Emperor Yōngzhèng of the Qing dynasty, said “Taiwan has never been part of China. It was only the case until my father (Emperor Kāngxī) incorporated it into our territory”

      Whichever way you look at it, the historical ‘link’ is not long like the Chinese claim and the emotional ‘link’ is not strong, especially after the massacre the KMT committed in Taiwan. However, China and the KMT are good at propaganda and if a lie has been told enough times to those who don’t dig deeply enough, it may replace the truth one day.

      • 29/06/2011 20:04

        Hi Claudia,
        Thank you so much for everything – taking on posts is a tough task and you do with such grace and patience.

        I’d like to know what is the response you obtain when you state such facts so clearly. Do people simply not respond?

        I am interesting in starting to compile a list of very simple questions I can refer people to when questions such as the above are asked, or when it comes to an argument of WE ARE ALL CHINESE for example. Eventually I will start writing media releases on having the huge media outlets, whether they will take it or not, the true accurate history of Taiwan rather than the “renegade province” that so many have come to read at end of regarding Taiwan news snippets.

        Thanks again for your postings.

      • Claudia Jean permalink*
        10/07/2011 15:41

        Thanks Daisy. Sorry for the delay in showing your messages. I’ve been away, without internet access.

  22. Claudia Jean permalink*
    03/02/2010 13:33


    It seems that the root of the argument is that we have opposite views on what Ma is actually doing. When you say Taiwanese are looking to ‘start a war’ if they don’t let Ma do what he’s doing, you seem to suggest that Ma is keeping the status quo. However, there is an abundance of evidence indicating Ma is NOT keeping the status quo (please read articles on Taiwan Matters, the View from Taiwan, Letters from Taiwan, Talk Taiwan etc) and this is my belief.

    The bottom line is Ma has announced that Taiwan’s relation to China is ‘region to region’ (downgrading Taiwan to a region of China) but the trouble is the PRC never accepts that they are just a ‘region’. Ma also accepts the One China framework by accepting the ‘92 Consensus’. Domestically, Ma told Taiwanese that there are ‘one China, two interpretations’ but the reality is China insists on ‘one China and we are it!’. Also, China pushes for EFCA, Ma is in a hurry to comply. In other words, Ma is caving into China’s demands. He’s been saying one thing and doing another. Keeping the status quo should be what Lee Teng-hui did or Chen Shui-bian (perhaps not the part of pushing for referendum on constitutional issues without communications and some level of understanding with the US).

    So, unless you just don’t see how Ma is taking Taiwan’s status and visibility as a country away bit by bit OR you suggest that Taiwan is really a just region, I don’t understand how you can believe that Ma is keeping the status quo. Therefore, I interpreted it as an insult on your part to suggest the Taiwanese option other than Ma’s way (i.e. caving into China’s demands) was ‘starting a war’. It sounded victim-blaming, which I do not tolerate on my blog. My personal blog (not open media or a country) is like my home and no one invites someone who insults their dear friends as a guest. I don’t have to defend anyone’s insults and slurs within my personal blog and you know it. If you genuinely believe Ma is ‘keeping the status quo’, now I can see why you feel misunderstood and insulted. If not, then you were sending confusing messages and blaming Taiwanese for ‘starting a war’.

    I know diplomats are not elected. They are directed (restricted) by the foreign policy of each administration. My question about diplomats’ silence reflects my belief that the Ma administration made sure that diplomats are quiet in those situations. Lee’s and Chen’s administrations were clear about Taiwan’s identity BUT Ma’s foreign/China policy has been China-leaning and vague about Taiwan’s identity and sovereignty. I believe that this shifts a diplomat’s remit and action. In the past, when China suppressed Taiwan, a representative office would have been expected to react and deal with it. Now, the Ma administration is quiet about it. For example, when the Australian postal service classed Taiwan as a province of China, MOFA didn’t even know about it, let alone react. This was on Taiwan’s national news. Ma even suggested that overseas Taiwanese should go to the PRC embassies and consulates for support. Why? Are Taiwan’s own representative offices and embassies all shut down? MOFA used to have web entries of all the incidents where Taiwan was suppressed by China. They were taken down shortly after Ma took office. Ma’s administration has also signed MOU which speeds up Taiwan’s money flow to China. If Ma’s mutual ‘non-denial’ was true, why wouldn’t he allow ROC flags to be shown when Chinese delegates visited? Taiwan has never denied the existence of PRC but PRC consistently denies Taiwan or ROC.

    You said that democracy and human rights are NOT Taiwan’s advantage. I beg to differ. Take Google as an example. They left China because China restricted freedom of speech and the Chinese were stealing their top business secrets (along with 20-30 other companies’). This wouldn’t have happened in Taiwan. Microsoft used to rely on Taiwanese programmers and engineers a lot and things were fine. But not long after they moved to Shanghai and used some Chinese contractor, the Chinese contractor plagiarised Plurk’s codes for a service they developed for Microsoft. Lucky that Plurk doesn’t have a lot of money to make a huge deal out of Microsoft’s blunder. If China goes on like this, no major companies would trust them with their technology and investments. These are just two examples of the advantage of respecting human rights and ethics!

    If Ma goes on like this, sooner or later, everyone would believe that Taiwan willingly subjects itself to China’s rule and claim. The next president, whoever they are, will find it hard, if not impossible, to redeem it. I don’t buy the argument ‘Oh, don’t mind whether others see us as a country as long as we know we are!’ This is ridiculous because whatever name you allow yourself to be called by others sticks to you. You keep saying that I haven’t come up with an alternative. Actually, I have and my stance has been clear all along. It’s you who’s been ignoring all the points I made about Ma’s giving up on Taiwan’s sovereignty and advantages.

    Of course I know the whole world doesn’t want to annoy China. However, unlike you, I don’t believe China is going to launch a military action against Taiwan if they can just simply use Ma and the KMT to erase Taiwan’s identity, gain control over Taiwan through economic means and use threats to keep Taiwanese quiet. This way, they avoid the cost of a war on their domestic economy. There is one exception. If the regime is about to fall apart, they may go to war to distract the public. Other than that, I don’t see China favouring a war over the ‘soft’ approach.

    Overall, if you are really ‘pro-Taiwan’ like you claimed and want to do something good for Taiwan, I suggest you start consulting references beyond your father or the KMT press releases.

    I won’t post your old messages back or post any of your future messages as I believe we’ve gone beyond that point. You find my comment to you insulting; I find yours rude, obnoxious and threatening (e.g. starting your message by saying ‘You really are looking for a fight’ plus other names and angry slurs in your messages). You say that I am not open to your views and immediately brand me ‘irrational’ when I challenge you on exact which actions Ma has taken are practical (which you didn’t address). This indicates that you are not looking for a discussion at all. In fact, I am open to different views. BUT I don’t tolerate insults to Taiwanese or trolls lying through their teeth/purposely creating confusions. If you genuinely believe all the points you made, then let’s agree to disagree and leave it at that. We both have better things to do than engaging in future correspondence.

  23. Stef permalink
    15/06/2010 15:14

    Claudia, you rock. Don’t get frustrated or discouraged by flamers like “racketracer” or “ron” or that other twit.
    I found your site while searching for info on the EFCA (because some students asked what it was, and I believe in the answer, “I don’t know but I’ll find out” …but I digress…). It really is refreshing to see people who know what they’re talking about speaking up on important issues like this. I love this country, and instead of bringing my Taiwanese wife & kids back to Canada, I’ve managed to convince my Canadian parents to consider a future over here… ;p
    A Communist Taiwan would be truly horrible. Back when HK reverted to China, I warned my students to be more politically aware (and active) or Taiwan would be next. If your site is still active next year, I’ll be referring some students to your articles (if you don’t mind). (By the way, you have excellent English… where did you study?)

    P.S. I like the way you handled “Tom”. Get gas!
    P.P.S. (Sorry, I forget the correct characters for “jia yo”…)

    • Claudia Jean permalink*
      17/06/2010 18:47

      Thanks for your kind and encouraging comments :)

      Sorry I haven’t been blogging for a while due to heavy workload but I’ll definitely come back to it as soon as I get the main tasks out of the way (probably start again from August). I’m honoured that you would consider referring your students to my articles. I hope they find it useful or interesting in some way.

  24. 30/11/2010 05:46

    I am an English speaking descendant of Scottish immigrants. I live in Canada, and I have numerous Chinese friends.

    It took me a long time to realize the differences between Taiwan and China. I’m 47 years old and a bit of a freak, perhaps, but I subscribe to the LS Times channel – great movies. It opened my eyes – a lot – to the differences between the countries.

    Due to the influence of a very close friend, I consider Taiwan an independant country. Times are hard now for me, but the attitudes and culture of Asian people make me dream of living in your beautiful, history-filled country.

    I apologize for being a 47 year old white man. My heart cries out for Taiwan, but – even in Canada – nationality change operations aren’t available.

    I cannot possibly express how much I want to be anywhere but here. Think about that before you try to emigrate, please.

  25. acosean permalink
    07/12/2010 15:36

    Hi, Claudia, I’m a 39-year-old Singaporean Chinese. Though by citizenship and nationality I’m a Singaporean, I am a Chinese by race (and also the language I speak and write). When I started searching for my “roots” and heritage about two decades ago, I came to the strong conclusion that my real Chinese roots or origins come from Taiwan (instead of mainland China), even though my ancestors were from the Guangdong Province of China. And I am begining to ingrain this line of thoughts to my 4-year-old toddler son, despite facing strong objections from my wife (who is a Chinese Language teacher).

    I really love your article and also the icons that symbolise Taiwan isn’t part of China.

    I’ve always argued with other Singaporean Chinese friends, colleagues and relatives about my stand. Sun Yat Sen (the founder of KMT) overthrew the Chinese monarchy of five millennia to start a democracy. Democracy means its people would have a choice on its government – you don’t serve the country well and I don’t vote for you at the next election. Simple as that. And despite KMT having done lots of wrong things after Sun’s death (corruptions, massacres, etc.), the only right way to overthrow the government (after “enduring” for five millennia in an imperialism state) is to vote for another party in the next election. But the CCP, instead of doing this, staged another war against the KMT (aka its own country which has just redeemed itself from the long-lasting monarchy)!

    So it was already the first wrong step taken by the CCP. So when the KMT was “pushed to the boundary” and fled to Taiwan, the democracy established by the KMT is the only legitimate government I recognise. CCP has thus ruled mainland China “illegally”.

    So Taiwan is the “real China” while the mainland China is ruled by “guerillas”.

    And I managed to convince most of my friends of this, after walking them through the key historical developments in post-Qing China.

    I draw a parallelism between this and Singapore’s hypothesis. Many agreed on my stand mainly because of this analogy: Imagine the ruling party of Singapore (PAP) has started to slacken, with MPs beginning to show partiality, corruption, etc. So the main opposition party (WP) rallied against this. And instead of waiting for the next election to defeat it, the WP secretly or openly secured firearms and formed its only army; and it declared war on its own country, resulting in Singapore’s ruling party, goverment and military fleeing to the island of Sentosa. If this really happens, I will recognise Sentosa as the official Singapore instead of the WP-ruled mainland Singapore.

    • Claudia Jean permalink*
      08/12/2010 17:05

      Thanks for your nice comment and the fact that you see Taiwan as a separate entity.

      However, I don’t think Taiwan is the ‘real China’; CKS wasn’t ‘pushed to the boundary’ and KMT did not establish democracy.

      Taiwan had been occupied by various forces from different culture and therefore had a different ‘blend’ of culture compared to the Chinese. Taiwan is just Taiwan, not a total replica of the pre-PRC China.

      Taiwan has never been legally ‘returned’ to the ROC government. CKS went to Taiwan on behalf of the UN (US) rather than as the legitimate ruler of that territory. Cairo Declaration was a lie – it was a press release no one signed. Therefore, ROC or indeed CKS or the KMT didn’t have any legal standing and still doesn’t now.

      As to democracy, the KMT had to loosen their grip after human rights activists sacrificed their lives and freedom. The KMT actually committed massacre in Taiwan and put Taiwan under martial law for 38 years, jailing thousands and thousands of Taiwanese and human rights activists. If you admire the democracy there, it would be more appropriate to feel grateful for those Taiwanese who fought for it rather than the KMT.

      • acosean permalink
        09/12/2010 00:48

        Thanks for your clarifications, Claudia. However, when Dr Sun Yet Sen founded the KMT, its aim/vision/values was on democracy (“San Min Zhu Yi” in Chinese), where citizens would get to vote for their government. This was the espoused direction. Nevertheless, I do agree with you that his successor(s)[CKS] could have deviated from this. But still, the CCP shouldn’t have started the war with KMT, but to seize an opportunity to reiterate Dr Sun’s founding principles for KMT (and China) with CKS so that an election could be held sometime in the future. CKS might not have agreed to this because the country was in total turbulence during that period of time, so stability in government could be his key concern at that time.

        It is just like we don’t blame Islam (or its Founding Prophet) when a segment of its followers interpret the Quran otherwise (in justifying for terrorism, for e.g.). We still respect Islam as one of the world’s major religions.

      • Claudia Jean permalink*
        31/12/2010 00:42

        It may be true that Sun had democracy in mind but I don’t think your Islam analogy was appropriate in this case because the corrupted members in the KMT after Sun lost control was the majority whereas the fundamentalists in the Islamic world were really the very small minority. No one is blaming Sun here but the whole of KMT.

  26. 26/05/2011 12:42

    Hey Totally agree China can not be trusted. I like Taiwan’s product anyway i hate Chinese product. Totally unacceptable and fake copied from other countries. I am Indian i don’t like China for lot of reasons. They use to call India as their brother and stab in India’s back by attacking us without noticing us, whereas India helped them to gain their Independence in 1950.

    Please say NO to China world.

  27. Stop Hiding it permalink
    26/07/2011 02:22

    So right now, China has the 2nd world’s largest economy, your saying that Taiwan is still in front of it? Right now, China has about 3rd or 4th strongest military in the world, Taiwan is still in front of China? Back then, Taiwan was supported by the United States, of course modern Taiwan is doing pretty well, but China brought itself up, after being pressed by NATO and the UN. A lot of people do not accept that China is a super power yet, why is it this hard for some of you to accept? Your article is true, Claudia, but you did not really tell us why Taiwan is better, you only stated that Taiwan is better. Taiwan was pulled up from the ground by the rich and wealthy United States of that time, Taiwan has no one to rely on right now due to the United State’s problem of debt. China is overcoming it’s economic problem, inflation. There is still a lot that you put out, you act like you are not one sided but truly you are still on the Taiwanese side. I am Chinese/American, I can tell you right now, Taiwan is very far away from China. You really need to start paying attention to the real world, history does not do anything in the 21st Century, the United States gives Taiwan it’s “worst” military technology, the right now F-22 Raptors vs Taiwans F-16s. It is obvious the stealth capabilities of the F-22 are superior. Let me ask you this, can Taiwan really become what it is right now all by itself like how you mentioned it did? Not mentioning any help from other countries? United States is also corrupt, sucking countries in, acting as their friends, throwing them out, Japan for example. The United States President Obama was supposed to go to Japan, but he did not, the United States sucked a lot of money from Japan.

    • Claudia Jean permalink*
      18/08/2011 17:52

      The main point here is quality of life. China has caught up. No one’s denying that. But if you divide your national income by your total population, it looks much less impressive.

  28. Don't accept one point of view without fully understanding it permalink
    22/09/2011 23:38

    Yes, you are right Claudia. If I divide the national income by its total population, the number is low compared to Taiwan. But, have you ever wondered why Taiwan was up there in the first place? The Nationalist Party took Mainland China’s wealth and left when they clearly lost. That greedy and despicable action made the small population in Taiwan rich and the large population in China poor. Therefore, I don’t think comparing the GDP per capita between Mainland China and Taiwan is logical.

    • Claudia Jean permalink*
      27/09/2011 18:39

      The KMT did take a lot from China but unfortunately the wealth didn’t get distributed to the Taiwanese people. In fact, between 1945 and 1949, CKS took loads of resources from Taiwan to support his battle with the communists in China. Taiwanese people don’t owe the Chinese anything. You should go by historical facts rather than political propaganda.

  29. Hari permalink
    08/01/2012 18:45

    A very nice article Claudia, not to forget the add on’s ……I used to think Chna and Taiwan are same untill one of my friend told me otherwise. It was then that I looked up in google typing Taiwan Vs China and come across ur blog. After going through ur article now I can say that I am much more informed about Taiwan and that Taiwan and China are not the same. thankyou very much.

    • Claudia Jean permalink*
      08/01/2012 20:36

      Thanks for your kind message :)

  30. Daniel Wang permalink
    13/02/2012 09:05

    24, Taiwanese-American, and proud of it. I just read the comments from top to bottom, and comparing the well-thought-out rebuttals of the pro-Taiwanese against the un-backed, uninformed statements of the pro-One-China people, it’s quite hilarious.
    Then again, you could say I’m pro One China. As long as Taiwan isn’t included in it.

    Thanks again, this made my day. I would add more, but everything I had to say has already been stated. Keep your heads up and your hearts strong. Taiwan pride.


  1. Dies und das aus Formosa (II) « Brennpunkt Taipeh
  2. Dies und das aus Formosa (II)

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