Thanks for taking time to write. You’re right that the actual history of Taiwan and its political status is extremely complicated. We’ve often thought about the best way to describe it concisely. Is there a better way you can think of to describe the 1949 split in, say, less than 10 words? Am happy to consider other wordings in the future. … if you want to run your own [wording] contest, I would be happy to hear about the results.
This was an email I received from an unnamed journalist at a major international media organ in response my email bemoaning the use of the ‘Taiwan split from China in 1949’ phrase.
Covering Taiwan and China news is a difficult task for many international journalists. Finding the right words without mischaracterising the history and nature of relations between the two, or upsetting the many people who feel passionately about the subject, is not easy. Commonly found in many media outlets around the world is the phrase “Taiwan split from China in 1949” or “the two sides split in 1949”. This phrase has become too common, lacks sufficient clarity, and needs to be updated.
So I am asking all the readers of Letters From Taiwan, all those who agree and disagree with what I post and the general partisan leanings of this blog, to please provide your suggestions on how to change the wording in 15 words or less. The best responses will be collated and sent to said journalist at the major international media organ with the hope that we can inspire them to change the way they report about Taiwan in the future.
Please provide your suggestions in the comments section of this post and not a reply via the tumblr dashboard.
Thanks and looking forward to seeing your ideas!