November 30th 2004

Seems that Chinese people must do without Fast Food in the future …

China blasts firms for listing Taiwan as ‚country‘

2004-11-27 / Taiwan News, Staff Reporter / By Tsai Ting-I

Taiwan is a democratic country and has no intention of intervening in the issue of whether or not international companies observe this categorization, the nation’s top cross-strait policymaking body said in reaction to Beijing’s protest to some international companies over the issue.

As part of its efforts to press its „one-China“ policy, Beijing has shifted its attention to international companies after it was discovered that some enterprises have categorized Taiwan as a „country“ on their global Web sites.

Companies challenged by China media include McDonald’s, Siemens, Mercedes, Audi and General Motors Corporation.

Most of the five companies‘ Taiwan branches chose to remain silent yesterday, noting they would follow the decisions made by their headquarters, while GM’s public relations department noted that the company had removed the word „country“ from its Web site in relation to Taiwan and had substituted „location.“

Chiu Tai-san (邱太三), Vice Chairman and spokesman of the Mainland Affairs Council, said that the government departments in Taiwan totally respect the choice of private organizations on the issue. „Some Taiwanese businessmen have even listed Taiwan under China on their business cards,“ Chui said. „But, this issue has nothing to do with government authorities.“

Among the five named companies, McDonald’s could be the one under the most pressure for not only failing to include China on its Web site’s list of countries, but also for listing Taiwan and Hong Kong as countries.

A campaign to boycott McDonald’s has reportedly been initiated on Internet chat rooms in China.

Taiwan’s McDonald’s branch declined to comment on the issue yesterday, saying that it usually does not address issues in other markets.

As of press time last night, the Web sites of Audi, McDonald’s, and Mercedes had made no changes with regard to their listing of Taiwan, while Siemens reportedly added the word „China“ after „Taiwan.“

In order to sidestep the sensitive political situation between Taiwan and China, some international companies, such as Motorola and Ericsson, have avoided referring to Taiwan as a country on their official Web sites.

Some other companies, however, have gotten caught in the crossfire.

In August last year, Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) blasted the Seattle-based Boeing Co. for canceling a scheduled visit to its facilities, under pressure from Beijing.

„Shame on Boeing!“ the vice president declared at the time.


So what are Chinese officials doing the whole day? Surfing the internet to find out which company lists Taiwan as a country? And if they give a damn about McDonald’s (…which btw listed China as a country since the company has a website, so some Chinese officials may also not be able to read a simple list; Siemens also didn’t change anything), what about Burger King, KFC and all the others? Sorry China, I tried not to become ironic about your Taiwan politics so far, right now I do … 

PS: I really consider to rename my website to „The-COUNTRY-next-to-CHINA-which-is-called-TAIWAN“

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