8/04/2007

Taiwan, China?

I received an invite to UBC's Alumni organization here in Taiwan. They asked me if I'd be willing to attend their function in Taiwan. As they were offering free food and entertainment, I said "sure, count on me." Then I tried to fill out the registration. When I scrolled down to give my country as part of my address, they only offered Taiwan, China. I tried to correct it, but was unsuccessful. I sent a letter to the President of Taiwan's office. This was the response I received:

Dear Mr. Cowsill,

I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your July 19, 2007 emails, addressed to President Chen and Vice President Lu respectively, kindly informing us that Taiwan was mistakenly referred to as “Taiwan, China” by the University of British Columbia (UBC) Alumni Association.

In spite of Taiwan’s de facto status as an independent and sovereign nation, many in the world have downgraded us as a part of China in the face of Chinese hegemony. Because of this, as President Chen said recently, it is right that we forthrightly apply for WHO and UN membership under the name of “Taiwan,” which is certain to win the unanimous support from our 23 million people.

We appreciate your friendship and thoughtfulness in bringing this matter to our attention. On behalf of President Chen and Vice President Lu, we send you our best wishes.


Sincerely yours,



Office of the President



After Tiananmen, UBC erected a "Goddess of Democracy" outside of its Student Union Building to commemorate the thousands killed in June, 1989. This point seems to be lost on UBC's Alumni Organization. If anyone wishes to contact them, please write: Mari Takeda at mtakeda@exchange.ubc.ca


The organization is www.alumni.ubc.ca/events/ubcbound

4 comments:

Winty Cheung said...

I think there is a little misunderstanding here. We usually state very clearly news received from alumni in Beijing and Shanghai as news from China and news we received from our alumni in Taiwan as under Taiwan.

Thank you for brining this to our attention.

Patrick Cowsill said...

You're wrong.

Go to Sporg and try to register an address as a Taiwan resident. (This is necessary for attending UBC functions in Taiwan.) When entering your address, the option for Taiwan that comes up is Taiwan, China. You can't edit it.

Anonymous said...

yikes, bad UBC! and I work for them! I guess you're an alumni?

Jack (commented just now in ur other entry)

Patrick Cowsill said...

"I guess you're an alumni?"

Yes.