Taiwan name-dropping irks Beijing

Beijing warns moves to drop "China" from company names could inflame tensions.

    The name change at the postal service has also sparked protests in Taiwan [AFP]
    But Beijing is extremely sensitive to any Taiwanese moves to play down its cultural and historical ties with the mainland.
    What's in a name?

    Was: Chungwha Post

    Taiwan Post

    Was: Chinese Petroleum Corp

    Now: CPC Corp Taiwan

    Was: China Shipbuilding Corp.
    Now: CSBC

    Was: Central Bank of China

    Now: Central Bank of the Republic of China (Taiwan)

    (Chinese-language name does not refer to China)

    Was: Taiwan Province Water Corp. 

    Taiwan Water Corp.

    Condemning the changes Li warned that Chen's "deliberate political manipulation" would heighten tensions between the two sides.
    "They are evildoings intended for the selfish gains of individuals and a single political party," he said, in reference to Chen's Democratic Progressive Party.
    "All the sons and daughters of China strongly oppose it. It will not win the hearts of the people."
    On Monday dozens of union members from Taiwan's postal service took to the streets to demonstrate against the name change.
    Protesters said the change had taken place without consent and was for purely political motives.
    Many of Taiwan's companies have retained the words "China" or "Chinese" in their trade names since Chiang Kai-shek's nationalist government retreated to the island following the communist takeover in 1949.
    'Small step'
    In a ceremony on Monday to mark the renaming of the post office, Chen said the change was "a small step towards making Taiwan an integrated country."
    "In the future, moves such as joining the United Nations under the name of Taiwan and using the name of Taiwan to participate in the international society will let us completely get away from the bondage of the old era."

    Taiwan's China Airlines has mulled changing
    its name to avoid passenger confusion [AP] 

    State oil company Chinese Petroleum Corp was among other companies to undergo a name makeover, becoming CPC Corp Taiwan.
    Other state-run companies could also formally change their names, including the national carrier, China Airlines, which has often been confused by non-Chinese travellers as a mainland-based carrier.
    Although political tensions have long simmered between Taiwan and the mainland, trade, investment and tourism have flourished between the two sides.
    Despite this Beijing has repeatedly warned of a possible war if Taiwan persists in moves towards independence and what it sees as separating from the motherland.
    Previous changes in Taiwan shool textbooks to replace references to "our country", "this country" and "the mainland" with simply "China" have also drawn Beijing's ire.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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