• Coral Gables, Florida

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Regarding Gregory Clark’s May 27 article “Cross-strait gap narrows“: Clark’s knowledge of Taiwan is sadly out of date. Moreover, he appears to accept unquestionably what he was told in Beijing. Contrary to his assertion that “the Taiwan people are Chinese, think Chinese, and speak Chinese just like any other Chinese people,” most of them are not, and do not consider themselves, Chinese — any more than the average Australian considers him or herself British.

Perhaps Clark should look at the opinion polls over the past 20 years to see how few people identify themselves as Chinese. The Taiwanese that most natives speak is mutually unintelligible with Mandarin, which they also speak.

The sentence “No self-respecting government would tolerate the nearby existence of a small, discredited, and defeated civil war faction claiming . . . to represent the entire nation” is even more objectionable as well as untrue. Taiwan, unlike China, is a vibrant democracy that has a far higher standard of living than China. And it formally renounced the claim to rule China.

june teufel dreyer

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