"Category: Taiwan, Presidents" should refer to "Republic of China" rather than Taiwan

+6 votes
143 views

The "Taiwan, Presidents" category says it is "managed by the Notables Project in association with the Categorization Project," so I am not taking the liberty of renaming it unilaterally.

Until I just created Lee Teng-hui, Chiang Kai-shek was the only member of this category on Wikitree.

There is no state or political entity named "Taiwan." Setting aside all the political controversies regarding name for the island and the nation, the state has always been called the Republic of China (中華民國, Zhonghua Minguo).

This category should be named "Presidents of the Republic of China" or "Republic of China, Presidents"

WikiTree profile: Kai-shek Chiang
in Policy and Style by Nathan Kennedy G2G6 Mach 2 (27.1k points)

1 Answer

+3 votes

The only explanation I can give you is that the categories are English language and the profile is also in English. Their official website:https://taiwan.gov.tw/

Shouldn't Mr. Lee's profile have some sort of biography to support the use of the categories?

by Natalie Trott G2G6 Pilot (827k points)

Natalie, the English name for the state is "Republic of China" and the English name for the head of state is "President of the Republic of China." English is not an official language in Taiwan but you can see this reflected at the official website's English page: https://english.president.gov.tw/

Yes, someone should write a biography for Lee's profile. As far as I could tell there were no duplicates when I created it (though it's hard for living profiles with CJK names), and he died five days ago.

Please note that I never said that English was their official language, but IT IS the language currently used in our category structure for Taiwan. We have no Taiwanese Hokkien language categories in the structure. They are ALL in English.

I see your point but I also see Taiwan as valid. If you would change one category, the entire structure of Taiwan cats would need to be changed. Please follow this to submit a proposal:https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Space:Categorization_-_Proposing_Category_Structures (You do NOT need any long, drawn out proposal. Just make up a short proposal in a free-space page, so when it's posted here in g2g as a proposal, people can read it to see what's involved in the changes.) https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Category:Taiwan

I'll submit a proposal, but changing this category does not require changing the entire Taiwan category. There is a distinction between the state/political government of the Republic of China, and the geographic island of Taiwan/Formosa.

Categories "Taiwan", "Taiwan, Cemeteries," "Taiwan, Notables" etc. most definitely should stay "Taiwan."

"Taiwanese" in "Taiwanese Inventors" suggesting ethnicity, should be replaced with "Taiwan, Inventors".

But for "President" it's rather clear-cut that it should be "Republic of China", which is the name of the state.

Interesting and possibly confusing way to go about it. Our category system should not make using the categories more difficult or more confusing. Why would we name some things in the structure as Taiwan and others as Republic of China? We do not have the "official name" in other categories around the globe. So, when Wikipedia says "This Country" (officially known as Republic of That), we often use "This Country" in categories. (i.e. Germany, which is officially the Federal Republic of Germany). We use Germany in categories. (So, now noted that the category for Chancellors uses the complete name.) This is not the case for presidents of the US though. So, it's definitely not something done with consistency across WikiTree.
Natalie, the names "China," "Republic of China" and "Taiwan" are not interchangeable and have different meanings "Republic of China" is not an "official name for Taiwan"; the categories must be structured and named in a correct and nonanachronistic fashion.

If I can draw an analogy, it's like "The Holy See," "Vatican City", "Rome", and "The Catholic Church" are not equivalent. You would not call Francis the "Pope of the Vatican" although that is the geographic seat of the Holy See, part of its sovereign territory and where he governs from; "Category: Vatican, Popes" would be wrong.

The history of China, Taiwan, and the Republic of China are complicated and controversial. For decades following the Xinhai Revolution, the Republic of China was a mainland Chinese state; it contended with the Beiyang government and Japan/Manchukuo, and was then relegated to Taiwan following the CCP's ascendancy in the Chinese Civil War.

As recently as 2008, President Ma Ying-jeou reasserted the Republic of China's sovereignty over all of mainland China.

Chiang Kai-shek led the KMT government of the ROC from Mainland China including his initial term as president of the ROC under its fifth constitution before retreating to Taiwan in 1950.

It is the Republic of China that has a president. This is further complicated by the fact that there is a push for "Taiwanification" by the DPP and similar parties however even in DPP official publications the office of President is referred to as of "Republic of China" or "Republic of China (Taiwan)". Taiwan is an island; it is also widely used to refer to a nation (notwithstanding its lack of diplomatic recognition) which includes various other small islands (like Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu, Lanyu etc). But there is a distinction between Taiwan and the Republic of China which is all the more important given its peculiar status. It is not strictly correct to refer to the "President of Taiwan" although this may be widely understood.

I hate to appeal to google but "President of the Republic of China" has 3.7 million hits to "President of Taiwan" having 1 million, despite it being wordier and more obtuse to English-speakers not familiar with the Taiwan situation; also Wikipedia's page is "President of the Republic of China", even though "Republic of China" is a redirect to "Taiwan."

Also to your earlier point, I wasn't arguing that English shouldn't be used for the category names, rather for the proper English name, but on that note, while "Taiwanese Hokkien" is the majority mother tongue in Taiwan, until a year ago the only official language of the Republic of China was Mandarin (the current administration additionally recognized Hokkien ("Taiwanese"), Hakka, and the aboriginal Austronesian languages in 2019). But the government in English publications refers to the President as President of the Republic of China.
Unfortunately, the Republic of China may indeed be the correct name, however this would get confused with the People's Republic of China. Both of these have presidents. This might be a rare exception where clarity is more important than accuracy. I'm sure you don't want the 2 getting mixed up.

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