Political partisanship infiltrates the Post Office in Taiwan

Taiwan politics are entertaining, if nothing else. Now comes news that the political wrangling has reached the Post Office. One G.B. Talovich, a teacher no less, is quoted in the South China Morning Post newspaper complaining:

"I had no idea what had been done until my fiancee asked me why I stamped the mail to her with the two logos. It is not my stand. It is just ridiculous. Only a dictatorial country would do that."

An opposition party legislator, who seems to have a libertarian streak, is then quoted as shouting at Taiwan's premier:

"How could the government do that? It is personal mail, not official mail. Don't you think it is a violation of others' rights and privacy?"

What was stamped on Mr. Talovich's mail, you ask? The UN for Taiwan logo, which supports Taiwan's bid for United Nations membership under the Taiwan name.

The UN for Taiwan drive is a metaphor for Taiwan independence. As a result, the movement carries deep political meaning in a country whose political fiber is being torn about by partisanship. The opposition party (Kuomintang Party) supports a UN bid under Taiwan's official name, the Republic of China, while the party in power (Democratic Progressive Party) supports a bid under the name 'Taiwan'. Neither bid is realistic as the UN has voted down previous bids 15 consecutive times. That is not a typo - 15 times.

The implication of the stamp on outgoing personal mail is that all the people of Taiwan support the Taiwan independence movement, and more importantly, are willing to accept the negative consequences such a movement has on relations with mainland China and the future economic prospects of Taiwan. Such support is far from universal.

With a presidential election coming up next March, we await future fireworks to come. One thing's for sure, Taiwan politics is never boring.