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Be nice to Taiwan, you [terribly rude expletive]!

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FoTW What follows is a lovely illustration of the futility of the quest for the "average Register reader".

We can run the numbers from our reader research, and work out the demographics and see just who it is that is reading our stories. We can learn a lot about the average reader: the things you like to read about, what kind of work you do and so on.

We can do all this until we are blue in the face, but it is still no good. Because average is what you lot ain't.

Below we have two letters, both from Register readers (obviously) responding to our coverage of news that Taiwan has written to Google asking the company not to refer to it as a province of China. Taiwan says it would prefer to be called the Republic of China, thank you very much. Google has so far kept quiet on how it intends to proceed.

So far so good. But then, we used sarcasm. [Please imagine a crash of thunder here, for dramatic effect].

Contrast and comparison of the letters is left as an exercise for the reader. Enjoy.

You are a complete fu*king a*shole. So you support a comunist regime that runs its own people over with tanks, executes them and sends their families the bill for the bullet, not before they have harvested their organs first so they can sell them. Taiwan has a democratically elected government and is an independent state. Why don't you try living under a comunist oppressor before you start mouthing off you c**t.

Daniel Keeping

Charming, no?


It was hard to separate what was straight versus sarcasm in your piece about the Google-Taiwan spat, especially the part about the threat to invade Taiwan if they declare sovereignty.

But if we accept that the purpose of a map is be a representation of reality (as opposed to desires or fantasy), then seems rather wrong-headed of Google to identify Taiwan as a "province of China", since they've been 100% sovereign since the 1949.

It would be a heck of lot better for everyone if Google would simply refer to the two sides by their official names, "Peoples Republic of China" for the communist nation on the mainland, and "Republic of China" for the democratic nation on Taiwan. "China" is only informally used as a country name, and isn't specific. The fact that the PRC doesn't like or accept the existence of the ROC is beside the point, the ROC does exist, is a real sovereign entity. It should be recognized on the map. Otherwise its pure fantasy. Actually the whole problem boils down to the fact that the 1949 civil war never really ended. The ROC, then on Taiwan, hasn't accepted being part of the PRC, and the PRC hasn't accepted the continued existence of the ROC. The United Nation's position just reflects the wishes of the PRC, and doesn't reflect the reality. I think about 26 nations in the UN do acknowledge that ROC exists.

About the possible fate of Taiwan falling to low-res image status, well, actually Taiwan is well advanced of the PRC in economic, social and political development. Their high-res status is really appropriate for them.

Anyway, this was just a note to help clarify some weak points in your blurb on the issue. In the end, the whole snafu just indicates how much power a bunch of software engineers in California have today in influencing how the world views world geography and geopolitics.

cheers,

Dennis

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