Taiwanese President annouces Independence

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Taiwanese President annouces Independence

Post by TimothyC » 2020-01-16 03:34pm

Straits Times wrote:
TAIPEI - President Tsai Ing-wen on Wednesday (Jan 15) called on China to reconsider its current Taiwan policy, saying that the island is already an independent country, just days after securing her re-election in a landslide victory.

She added that Taiwan does not need to formally declare its independence.

“We are an independent country already and we call ourselves the Republic of China, Taiwan,” said Ms Tsai in her first post-election interview with the BBC.

Comments along such lines have enraged Beijing. Just hours after her interview, China’s Cabinet-level Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) retorted, saying Taiwan’s future should be decided by “all the people of China”.

“It’s difficult to shake a mountain, (like) it is to shake the ‘1992 consensus’,” said TAO spokesman Ma Xiaoguang in a press conference on Wednesday, referring to the tacit agreement between Beijing and Taipei that there is “one China”, with each side having a different interpretation of what that “one China” means.

The TAO’s rebuttal was in response to Ms Tsai’s comments in her victory speech last Saturday, when she said one of the four pillars of establishing peaceful talks with China is to allow Taiwanese people to decide their own fate.

The other three principles are peace, parity and dialogue.

“We’re a successful democracy, we have a pretty decent economy... we deserve respect from China,” said Ms Tsai.

As for what she can offer to pave the way for any cross-strait ice-breaking, Ms Tsai said the ball was back in China’s court, meaning the point is moot if China is not ready to talk.

“I think it’s for the Chinese to have this preparedness to face the reality. If they are not prepared, whatever we offer won’t be satisfying to them,” said Ms Tsai.

The reality Ms Tsai is referring to includes her own re-election by some eight million votes, the highest a presidential candidate has ever received in Taiwan. She said her victory is a “strong message from the Taiwanese people” about how fed up they were with China’s constant threats to unify the island, which Beijing considers a wayward province.

Ms Tsai also held a press conference on Wednesday, announcing her plans to keep her current Cabinet and elaborating on the Anti-Infiltration Act that takes effect the same day.

Passed by the legislature on Dec 31, the law aims to prevent foreign forces from meddling in Taiwan’s direct elections and other forms of democracy, particularly interference from China.

The Act is not without its controversies, and has been heavily criticised by opposition Kuomintang and business owners who spend the majority of their time working in China.

But Ms Tsai stressed that there is a high bar for prosecution, and that the law is not aimed at ending communication between people on both sides.

“As long as you are not acting under the Chinese government’s orders, entrusted or sponsored by it to illegally make political donations, campaign or lobby on behalf of a candidate, disrupt assemblies or marches, (association with China) is considered ‘normal’, and will not be affected,” said Ms Tsai.

She has asked the Cabinet, or Executive Yuan, to be on the lookout for related fake news and to clarify when needed. The government is up against criticisms that the Act is a precursor to the suppression of free speech and dissent, just like between 1949 and 1987 when Taiwan was under martial law.

Ms Tsai said there will be a team of experts to explain to the people what specific actions are illegal under the Act, and a service window at the Straits Exchange Foundation, a semi-official body that oversees relations between Taiwan and China, for those who want to get their information first hand.

Under the Act, no individuals or organisations sponsored by foreign powers are to make political donations or campaign for Taiwanese election candidates. Violators will either face up to five years behind bars and an additional fine of NT$10 million (S$450,000).

Those who reveal information concerning Taiwan’s national security to foreign countries can be fined NT$5 million and jailed for three years.

Meanwhile, the opposition Kuomintang on Wednesday took steps to address its election loss.

Younger party members have been agitating for reforms after KMT candidate Han Kuo-yu lost to Ms Tsai by about 20 percentage points and the party failed to win its target of more than half of the legislative seats.

After a central standing committee meeting, the party’s chairman Wu Den-yih and four executive officials resigned to take responsibility for the election flop.

The party also released a seven-point report that looked into the reasons for its defeat.

It cited how the ruling Democratic Progressive Party has been able to capitalise on the unease over the idea of China’s “one country, two systems” policy in Hong Kong being imposed on Taiwan. Protests in Hong Kong, triggered by a proposal to allow extraditions to mainland China, have morphed into a wider movement for democratic freedoms and against China’s tightening control over Hong Kong.

The report also touched on how the party had failed to appeal to younger Taiwanese, whose votes are said to have helped the DPP at the ballots.
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Re: Taiwanese President annouces Independence

Post by ray245 » 2020-01-16 03:45pm

Are you incapable of actually reading what it actually says?
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Re: Taiwanese President annouces Independence

Post by TimothyC » 2020-01-16 03:52pm

ray245 wrote:
2020-01-16 03:45pm
Are you incapable of actually reading what it actually says?
:roll:
We are an independent country already and we call ourselves the Republic of China, Taiwan
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Re: Taiwanese President annouces Independence

Post by ray245 » 2020-01-16 03:57pm

TimothyC wrote:
2020-01-16 03:52pm
We are an independent country already and we call ourselves the Republic of China, Taiwan
Yes. And you're an idiot if you think it's a big deal.
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Re: Taiwanese President annouces Independence

Post by mr friendly guy » 2020-01-16 06:19pm

Bit of a click bait title there considering it doesn't come close to what the straits time articles title actually is. I understand the title might be too long for the board, but geez.
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Re: Taiwanese President annouces Independence

Post by ray245 » 2020-01-16 06:49pm

mr friendly guy wrote:
2020-01-16 06:19pm
Bit of a click bait title there considering it doesn't come close to what the straits time articles title actually is. I understand the title might be too long for the board, but geez.
What do you expect from a person that barely knows anything about Taiwanese politics?
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Re: Taiwanese President annouces Independence

Post by mr friendly guy » 2020-01-16 06:56pm

Ok now that I have a bit of time, here is why I think its clickbaity to say Taiwanese President announces independence.

She is essentially asking to make Taiwan from de facto to de jure independence, by asking China to reconsider its policy. That pretty much requires China's consent, since once China says yeah ok, everyone else will follow because it currently isn't worth it for others to fight over this point. Anyone who disagrees its worth it fighting China over this, should look at all those airlines that change their tune (now displaying Taiwan as part of the PRC), or ask why their own country sticks to the one china policy.

For those who think there is no difference between de facto and de jure, then you should ask why are all those de facto regions wanting de jure independence including the Taiwanese president.

Asking China to reconsider its policy is a far cry from announcing independence. Its especially so when she then turns around and says, we don't need to. No in the second line of the article it says "She added that Taiwan does not need to formally declare its independence."

When I first saw the title, I went oh shit, I hope my friend in Taiwan will be ok. She had already asked me whether I could sponsor her as she wanted to return to Australia, and was considering immigrating instead of just on a working visa like last time. Then I started reading the first few lines and went "phew." :D
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Re: Taiwanese President annouces Independence

Post by ray245 » 2020-01-16 07:15pm

China has less issues with the Republic of China claiming it is independent from the People's Republic of China, because that's in part what the whole 92 "consensus" is all about. Both ROC and PRC officially recognise there is one China, and they are both part of one China but disagreed on what "China" meant.

The red-line for China is for Taiwan to announce themselves as no longer part of the Republic of China and that it is defunct and replaced by the Republic of Taiwan. That is the red-line.

For someone like TImothyC to fail to even understand this basic concept goes to show he is someone that barely understands what he is reading. There is no actual comprehension of what the text actually says.
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Re: Taiwanese President annouces Independence

Post by Ralin » 2020-01-16 09:25pm

That seems like a very semantic argument. She said that Taiwan province is an independent country. Saying that they aren't declaring independence because they don't need to...doesn't mean that's not what she did.

I mean, word lawyering a translation and all, but I'm not seeing how this is better.

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Re: Taiwanese President annouces Independence

Post by Ziggy Stardust » 2020-01-16 09:35pm

Has a Taiwanese President ever publicly called on the PRC to formally reconsider their One China Policy? Even if this isn't as dramatic as a formal declaration of independence, it still seems to me to be a notable development.

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Re: Taiwanese President annouces Independence

Post by Dominus Atheos » 2020-01-16 10:47pm

ray245 wrote:
2020-01-16 07:15pm
China has less issues with the Republic of China claiming it is independent from the People's Republic of China, because that's in part what the whole 92 "consensus" is all about. Both ROC and PRC officially recognise there is one China, and they are both part of one China but disagreed on what "China" meant.

The red-line for China is for Taiwan to announce themselves as no longer part of the Republic of China and that it is defunct and replaced by the Republic of Taiwan. That is the red-line.

For someone like TImothyC to fail to even understand this basic concept goes to show he is someone that barely understands what he is reading. There is no actual comprehension of what the text actually says.
To be fair, the ROC and PRC are practically schizophrenic about what it is that they actually want. You would think that China (PRC) would want Taiwan (ROC) to stop calling themselves "China," (Republic of China), and recognize China's (PRC) sovereignty over at least the mainland but apparently not. Taiwan should want independence and to be recognized as the "Republic of Taiwan" but apparently they don't want that either.

If you could explain to me what the crazy assholes do want, I would be very appreciative.

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Re: Taiwanese President annouces Independence

Post by madd0ct0r » 2020-01-17 04:08am

Dominus Atheos wrote:
2020-01-16 10:47pm
ray245 wrote:
2020-01-16 07:15pm
China has less issues with the Republic of China claiming it is independent from the People's Republic of China, because that's in part what the whole 92 "consensus" is all about. Both ROC and PRC officially recognise there is one China, and they are both part of one China but disagreed on what "China" meant.

The red-line for China is for Taiwan to announce themselves as no longer part of the Republic of China and that it is defunct and replaced by the Republic of Taiwan. That is the red-line.

For someone like TImothyC to fail to even understand this basic concept goes to show he is someone that barely understands what he is reading. There is no actual comprehension of what the text actually says.
To be fair, the ROC and PRC are practically schizophrenic about what it is that they actually want. You would think that China (PRC) would want Taiwan (ROC) to stop calling themselves "China," (Republic of China), and recognize China's (PRC) sovereignty over at least the mainland but apparently not. Taiwan should want independence and to be recognized as the "Republic of Taiwan" but apparently they don't want that either.

If you could explain to me what the crazy assholes do want, I would be very appreciative.
Roc Taiwan want the status quo to continue, which means keeping pace with growing military and global soft pressure the PRC china can bring to bear. They expect the PRC to collapse eventually and then China will be united under them. Until then, its a two kingdoms period.

Prc China want the status quo to continue as they have a lot on their plate, and the soft pressure they can bring to bear increasingly out weighs Taiwan's allies (and that is a long term trend).
Taiwan dosent represent a threat or even competition to the PrC anymore and with another fifty years of development, old generation dying off, and backing different groups in Taiwan's democracy, eventually the population of taiwan will vote to join One China proper.
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Re: Taiwanese President annouces Independence

Post by mr friendly guy » 2020-01-17 05:00am

Dominus Atheos wrote:
2020-01-16 10:47pm
ray245 wrote:
2020-01-16 07:15pm
China has less issues with the Republic of China claiming it is independent from the People's Republic of China, because that's in part what the whole 92 "consensus" is all about. Both ROC and PRC officially recognise there is one China, and they are both part of one China but disagreed on what "China" meant.

The red-line for China is for Taiwan to announce themselves as no longer part of the Republic of China and that it is defunct and replaced by the Republic of Taiwan. That is the red-line.

For someone like TImothyC to fail to even understand this basic concept goes to show he is someone that barely understands what he is reading. There is no actual comprehension of what the text actually says.
To be fair, the ROC and PRC are practically schizophrenic about what it is that they actually want. You would think that China (PRC) would want Taiwan (ROC) to stop calling themselves "China," (Republic of China), and recognize China's (PRC) sovereignty over at least the mainland but apparently not. Taiwan should want independence and to be recognized as the "Republic of Taiwan" but apparently they don't want that either.

If you could explain to me what the crazy assholes do want, I would be very appreciative.
They both want to rule the combine geopolitical entity call "China." This combine entity will be the PRC, the ROC (including the Penghu islands), the disputed islands in the East China sea with Japan, the Paracel islands (China holds all of them and disputed with Vietnam), the Spratly Islands (of which Taiwan holds the largest natural one of Itu Aba, and China holds the largest artificial ones, and these are of course disputed to some extent with 4 other countries who themselves have arguably even larger territorial disputes with each other than China). Since they can't agree who rules what, the status quo is both agree they should be one country and we will figure out the governance at a later date, but we will keep to our own individual areas for now.

The DPP most likely wants to change this, ie give up claims to the PRC and just be an independent country, but they aren't willing to change the status quo (which was agreed upon in the 90s) and from what we can see, there isn't necessarily enough support among the Taiwanese to change from de facto independence to de jure at the risk of a war. And when I say there most probably isn't enough support, Taiwan didn't vote to change their name from the Republic of China.

Long term, the PRC most probably thinks they can swallow up the ROC economically. Taiwan is a high income economy, but its future is dubious at best. Basically even salaried workers are working in poorer countries because the pay is better. Let that sink in. They are not going there because they are entrepreneurs and adventurous and targeting a market that is about to expand, they are going there because the pay is better. And one of these countries is .... the PRC.

Taiwan (or at least the Guomindang), says they will rejoin if China is a democracy. Presumably then they believe China will democratise like a lot of countries do as they become richer.
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Re: Taiwanese President annouces Independence

Post by ray245 » 2020-01-17 06:27am

Ralin wrote:
2020-01-16 09:25pm
That seems like a very semantic argument. She said that Taiwan province is an independent country. Saying that they aren't declaring independence because they don't need to...doesn't mean that's not what she did.

I mean, word lawyering a translation and all, but I'm not seeing how this is better.
She's saying stuff that even the more pro-unification party in Taiwan is saying, which is recognising the sovereignty of the Republic of China. PRC China, while annoyed by that, won't start a war if a Taiwanese president said that.

It is painful to see despite so many westerners voicing support for Taiwan, are painfully unaware of what is the geo-politics of the region.
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Re: Taiwanese President annouces Independence

Post by AniThyng » 2020-01-17 09:49am

ray245 wrote:
2020-01-17 06:27am

[...] a Taiwanese president said that.
The whole semantics thing gives me a minor headache, but it strikes me as funny that you refer to her as a "taiwanese" president.
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Re: Taiwanese President annouces Independence

Post by houser2112 » 2020-01-17 10:08am

AniThyng wrote:
2020-01-17 09:49am
ray245 wrote:
2020-01-17 06:27am

[...] a Taiwanese president said that.
The whole semantics thing gives me a minor headache, but it strikes me as funny that you refer to her as a "taiwanese" president.
She's the president of Taiwan, how else should she be referred to?

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Re: Taiwanese President annouces Independence

Post by ray245 » 2020-01-17 10:10am

houser2112 wrote:
2020-01-17 10:08am
She's the president of Taiwan, how else should she be referred to?
She is not the president of Taiwan. She is the president of the Republic of China. The sheer ignorance on the Taiwan issue is just astounding.
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Re: Taiwanese President annouces Independence

Post by houser2112 » 2020-01-17 10:13am

ray245 wrote:
2020-01-17 10:10am
houser2112 wrote:
2020-01-17 10:08am
She's the president of Taiwan, how else should she be referred to?
She is not the president of Taiwan. She is the president of the Republic of China. The sheer ignorance on the Taiwan issue is just astounding.
You're just being pedantic. It's like saying "American President" instead of "President of the United States".

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Re: Taiwanese President annouces Independence

Post by ray245 » 2020-01-17 11:19am

houser2112 wrote:
2020-01-17 10:13am
You're just being pedantic. It's like saying "American President" instead of "President of the United States".
No I am not. PRC China has no issues with Taiwan, as long as they continue to call themselves the Republic of China. The fact you think it is pedantic goes to show you have no clue what you are talking about.

Calling themselves as an independent ruler of the Republic of China will not lead to war. Calling themselves the president of the Republic of Taiwan will. Semantics matters in the case of Taiwan. Anyone who do not understand the importance of semantics in the issue of Taiwan does not know anything basic about the whole issue in Taiwan.

If you are called out for being ignorant, don't double down and make yourself look even more foolish.
Last edited by ray245 on 2020-01-17 11:27am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Taiwanese President annouces Independence

Post by ray245 » 2020-01-17 11:26am

AniThyng wrote:
2020-01-17 09:49am
The whole semantics thing gives me a minor headache, but it strikes me as funny that you refer to her as a "taiwanese" president.
Saying she is a Taiwanese President isn't an issue, because that's like saying a leader is from a particular region. My mum is from Taiwan. I have no issue with saying she is Taiwanese. She thinks of herself as Taiwanese, but she don't necessarily think of herself as someone from the Republic of Taiwan.
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Re: Taiwanese President annouces Independence

Post by mr friendly guy » 2020-01-17 06:22pm

Off the top of my head, perhaps an equivalent semantic situation involving Western powers would be how the country which is now known as "Northern Macedonia," used to formerly be known as Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia of appease a Western country, ie Greece. People from that region referred to themselves as from Macedonia and in formal settings the mouthful FYRM.
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Re: Taiwanese President annouces Independence

Post by Dominus Atheos » 2020-01-17 07:08pm

houser2112 wrote:
2020-01-17 10:13am
ray245 wrote:
2020-01-17 10:10am
houser2112 wrote:
2020-01-17 10:08am
She's the president of Taiwan, how else should she be referred to?
She is not the president of Taiwan. She is the president of the Republic of China. The sheer ignorance on the Taiwan issue is just astounding.
You're just being pedantic. It's like saying "American President" instead of "President of the United States".
There is no such country as "Taiwan". The there is only "China," who is currently locked in a brutal and ongoing civil war (I think, don't ask me) between the two factions of the "Republic of China", currently only holding the territory of the island of Taiwan, and the "People's Republic of China" which holds the mainland. But don't ever suggest that there isn't just "One China" consisting of at least the mainland and the island territory of Taiwan because everyone involved will get really mad for some reason.

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Re: Taiwanese President annouces Independence

Post by ray245 » 2020-01-17 07:20pm

Technically, Republic of China holds more land than just Taiwan. They control the island of Kinmen, which is officially a part of a Fujian province. The people of Kinmen do not view of themselves as Taiwanese at all, and consistently voted for the pro-unification party.
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Re: Taiwanese President annouces Independence

Post by AniThyng » 2020-01-17 07:40pm

ray245 wrote:
2020-01-17 11:26am
AniThyng wrote:
2020-01-17 09:49am
The whole semantics thing gives me a minor headache, but it strikes me as funny that you refer to her as a "taiwanese" president.
Saying she is a Taiwanese President isn't an issue, because that's like saying a leader is from a particular region. My mum is from Taiwan. I have no issue with saying she is Taiwanese. She thinks of herself as Taiwanese, but she don't necessarily think of herself as someone from the Republic of Taiwan.
So, "Taiwanese President" is like saying Bill Clinton is a "Southern President" because he's from there? And the equivalent term for "American President" in the sense of "President of the United States [of America]" when referring to the President of the ROC is "[Republican] Chinese President"?

I get what you're saying about how you can identify oneself as being from a place without implying anything else about said places political status but it's still clearly all a bit of creative interpretations of words on all sides.

It's pretty hard to think of any other examples where the <insert place name here> <political title> is not generally the same as <insert political entity name here> <political title> . I guess if we look at Korea...hmm well in english you can just say korean PM and people assume you mean SK, but again, there isn't a gerographical term you can use for Korea that is analogous to Taiwan, the island vis a vis the actual country being ruled (I mean sure, taeguk and chosun i suppose...)

@friendly guy, I'm not sure if the FYROM is a similar situation as such since no one disputes Taiwan is the literal name of the island.
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Re: Taiwanese President annouces Independence

Post by ray245 » 2020-01-17 08:25pm

AniThyng wrote:
2020-01-17 07:40pm
So, "Taiwanese President" is like saying Bill Clinton is a "Southern President" because he's from there? And the equivalent term for "American President" in the sense of "President of the United States [of America]" when referring to the President of the ROC is "[Republican] Chinese President"?
If the US civil war never ended and a small remnant of one faction survive on a small island, you might have the same sort of issue. Taiwanese still call PRC China as "the mainland" as an informal name. Chinese or Taiwanese identity is a hugely complicated issue, because many people still refer to their provincial identity as their core identity. It's like how the WW2 generation of Chinese-Singaporean still largely identify themselves by their dialect group or their regional China identity instead of seeing themselves as merely Chinese.

I get what you're saying about how you can identify oneself as being from a place without implying anything else about said places political status but it's still clearly all a bit of creative interpretations of words on all sides.
The only issue people see it as creative interpretation is if you are using a non-Chinese way of self-identification. In many places, the issue of national identity has been heavily reinforced and clearly demarcated. This is not the case for the Taiwanese. In Taiwan, it is made up for 2 major group of population. You have the 本省人 ( native-province people) and the 外省人 ( outside of province people). The 本省人 are the people who have already lived in Taiwan for multiple generations prior to the Chinese civil War. The 外省人 are the people who moved to Taiwan when KMT was retreating in 1949. The two population, while both seeing themselves as Han-Chinese, have very different mindset and views towards the issue of Taiwanese identity. The native-province people are more ready to identify themselves as Taiwanese first and foremost, and tend to be the group that are most eager to push for formal independence. They want a Republic of Taiwan.

The outside-of-province people, are far more likely to see themselves as citizens of the Republic of China. That is because most of them were originally born in mainland China, from all the different provinces of China. They were the soldiers, civil servants or just refugees following the KMT government. They have far more attachment to being a part of China, but they do not necessarily want to be a part of Communist China because of historic reasons. These people are more likely to support the pro-unification party in elections, and the group that are more likely to join the military because of family ties and etc. The previous president of Taiwan was a 外省人. 外省人 like my mother can think of themselves as Taiwanese, because they are either the 1st generation born in Taiwan or basically grew up there as kids. To them, being Taiwanese is an important part of their identity because while they see themselves as part of China, the China they are referring to is the Republic of China. My mother can fully identify herself as Taiwanese while being unwilling to support any pro-independence movement, nor does she really want unification.

If people like my mum wants re-unification, they want to do so on their terms, i.e. to see Taiwan reunified with a democratic Mainland China, preferably with the KMT party winning the national election.

It's pretty hard to think of any other examples where the <insert place name here> <political title> is not generally the same as <insert political entity name here> <political title> . I guess if we look at Korea...hmm well in english you can just say korean PM and people assume you mean SK, but again, there isn't a gerographical term you can use for Korea that is analogous to Taiwan, the island vis a vis the actual country being ruled (I mean sure, taeguk and chosun i suppose...)
Chinese identity doesn't map on easily to Western notions of nation-state and identity.
Humans are such funny creatures. We are selfish about selflessness, yet we can love something so much that we can hate something.

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