Taiwan, China and HP
Fri, 18 Jan 2002 13:55:23 -0500
So is this a joke or is it for real? The note I received did not cite the source of
BEIJING -- US tech giant Hewlett-Packard has been fined
by the authorities in China after mistakenly referring to
Taiwan as a separate country, the firm and officials said on Friday.
The fine was imposed by the eastern province of Jiangsu after
a manual for one of the firm's printers sold in China made reference
to 'Taiwan, ROC' (Republic of China), a Hewlett-Packard spokesman said.
Beijing views the island, which has enjoyed de facto independence since
splitting from the mainland in 1949 following the communist victory in
the civil war, as a province under its jurisdiction. It reacts angrily to
any suggestions otherwise, especially the use of the word 'China' to
describe the island.
'We are working with the provincial government for a resolution of
the problem,' a Hewlett-Packard spokesman said, declining to say
how much the fine was.
No other company manuals referred to Taiwan in this way, he added.
China's State Administration of Industry and Commerce declined to
comment on the particular case, but confirmed it was in accordance
with general policy.
'This is a political problem. Normally, we have to issue fines in these cases,'
an official said. China often ensures compliance with its view on the Taiwan
issue by freezing out companies which take a different opinion, or which are
even seen to have excessively close ties with Taipei.