Moleskine removes all references to Taiwan from its notebooks

Originally published at: Moleskine removes all references to Taiwan from its notebooks | Boing Boing

5 Likes

Apparently, the cost of doing a separate print run for the snowflakes in China is a lot more than that of maintaining a shred of dignity for the brand elsewhere.

Not that they’re alone in this regard. They’re neither the first or last company in the West that will bend over when Winnie the Pooh demands it

22 Likes

Moleskine doesn’t deserve the popularity it has given its cheap, bleedy, crappy paper. This bit of grossness by the company gives me one more reason to prefer brands like Rhodia and Field Notes.

21 Likes

man. seriously what is gonna happen with Taiwan? It sure as hell seems like China is never gonna give up the way The UK gave up a lot of it’s colonies. Maybe not a perfect analogy I know. Just the closest situation I can think of where a country was doing something awful and eventually gave in to the people. Can Taiwan really continue to persist in this state where they are functionally a country but with one of the most powerful countries in the world threatening them. I know China doesn’t want to start a war with America taking a side but I also don’t think most Americans would have a stomach for a fight like that either. the whole thing gives me serious anxiety just thinking about it. I cant imagine how the people who live there feel.

6 Likes

John Oliver had a good segment on this recently.

Freddy Lim is the heavy metal parliamentarian, by the way. He’s an interesting guy, with a lot of good interviews on Youtube.

His band is pretty sweet too!

14 Likes

Re:Taiwan

Did you know that about 2% of their population are indigenous peoples, who were there before the Han Chinese colonized it? Just saw a fascinating Vice video about it the other day about their battles with hunting rights on the island. I had no idea any of this was thing.

16 Likes

The thing is, a separate print run for the PRC is not enough for the snowflakes. They insist not only in no acknowledgement of Taiwan within their borders but without as well.

The whole situation has “tragic mistake” written all over it. The PRC simply does not believe that the Americans care that much about what happens to Taiwan, and the Americans don’t think that the PRC is all that serious about pressing a claim to a territory that the PRC has never had any control over. And when you think that the other side is really bluffing rather than being serious, you might try to call their bluff. Personally, I don’t think that the fact that the Qing dynasty controlled Taiwan gives the PRC any more rights there than the US has over the Philippines, just because we once kicked the Spanish out. But the PRC has made is one of their fundamental goals to bring any land (or area of sea) that was once claimed by the middle kingdom under their control by whatever means necessary.

11 Likes

Russia as well has a similar attitude. And like Russia, people are asking: If they succeed, what then?

All those military bases China is building all over Asia and Africa probably would be the foothold for their next set of claims.

6 Likes

Taiwan was never a colony of China. Get your facts straight.

2 Likes

I never said it was. But China claims to own it. That’s why I said it’s not a perfect analogy.

Edit: according to Wikipedia “ The island was annexed in 1683 by the Qing dynasty of China, and ceded to the Empire of Japan in 1895. The Republic of China, which had overthrown the Qing in 1911, took control of Taiwan on behalf of the World War II Allies following the surrender of Japan in 1945.

Maybe that’s not the technical definition of colony, I don’t know, But China was in control of the island at one point. I’m not implying whether any of this was right BTW. Just that it was a matter of fact.

12 Likes

And yet that is not a terrible analogy for its status in the Qing Dynasty. It was run and settled by large numbers of ethnic Han Chinese from the mainland while the native islanders were marginalized. In that way it resembled colonies in the Americas.

My guess would be the reduction of Vietnam and North Korea to the status of client states to prepare the way for their effective incorporation into the PRC. Of course the reality is that they’re having difficulty bringing Hong Kong into the PRC. Taiwan would be an order of magnitude more difficult, even in the unlikely event that the takeover was peaceful. It would probably take more than 50 years of repression to accomplish. As Hong Kong has shown, they don’t have the patience or skill to use the carrot rather than the stick.

9 Likes

Yeah the official US position on Taiwan is “Deliberate Ambiguity”. We don’t recognize them as an independent country. Almost no countries do. They can not participate in international organizations under the name “Republic of China” or “Taiwan”. Instead going by “Chinese Taipei”.

We technically have no formal diplomatic relationships with Chinese Taipei.

It’s a massive international fiction to keep China from pressing the issue.

Lately they’ve been stirring it up in everything from press interviews in the American media to I guess note books.

From what I understand even that was barely they basically controlled a few developed colonies and much of the Island was effectively independent for most of the Chinese period. It was the Japanese who consolidated control there, much later.

There was something like 6 years between China claiming full control over the island and the Japanese annexing it.

7 Likes

Funny, I just removed all references to Moleskine from my buying lists.

11 Likes

Another reason not to buy crappy moleskine notebooks.
The paper is as flimsy as their backbone.

Buy Archer and Olive instead, paper and service is awesome.
Love the b5 size!

5 Likes

Re: Russia, if they succeed - well, they’ll succeed. For Russia it’s less about the country’s territory as Putin being hell-bent on 1. building his legacy and 2. keeping Russia a main player in world politics and economy, despite its decline in pretty much every aspect (economy, demographics, etc). What they’re after is not necessary simply expansion of their own territory as such, they can’t really do it everywhere (with Crimea and eastern Ukraine they at least have an excuse, not so much elsewhere), but their sphere of influence.

As for China though, again I don’t think they’re trying to expand their territory as such. Taiwan is a special case because Taiwan’s continued existence as a separate entity is basically a constant loss of face for China. But elsewhere they’re more interested in building economic and diplomatic ties and then exploiting those for their own business and diplomatic purposes, instead of actual claim for land. This is a pretty good summary: Decade of patience: How China became a power in the Western Balkans – European Council on Foreign Relations

I don’t think they’d want North Korea. I don’t think anyone wants North Korea, Souht Korea included, which is pretty much the reason why it still exists. Think about it, whoever “gets to” incorporate North Korea will then have to deal with:

  1. an immense but frightfully underdeveloped area;
  2. a mostly malnourished, uneducated and/or brainwashed population that has never known anything but their own world and would have, by and large, an incredibly difficult time fitting in; never mind the host country’s population accepting them. Just imagine the immense culture shock on both sides.

They’d have to spend truly staggering amounts of money and effort into developing it and bringing it up to level, money that would need to be pulled from other purposes - and there wouldn’t be any results for generations at the very least. Hell, Germany is still not quite over the unification, and while there were very significant economic and sociopolitical/cultural differences between Western and Eastern Germany, those were nothing compared to North Korea and… basically everyone else around it.

Besides, a single country claiming North Korea would immediately upset the delicate balance of power in the area (Russia, China, USA via S.Korea/Japan), something likely nobody would want to do, at least not in the near future.

5 Likes

Even the US Embassy there isn’t officially called an embassy.

4 Likes
7 Likes

I think if it was about territory or land. China could get away with North Korea. Whatever other fall out and foulness might come of it. They’d be solving a huge problem for just about everybody.

As goes undeveloped areas. China effectively force developed subsistence farmers in wilderness areas into factory centers. Multiple times.

As goes an immense population with huge problems. China doesn’t really have a problem force relocating or just doing away with people. Often enough specifically to redevelop their territory.

But I don’t think it’s about territory. A big part of this is China using saber rattling to drum up Nationalist fervor, it helps them tamp down discontent.

But the other end of it is China’s economic growth has seriously, seriously slowed. And there are concerns about a possible collapse and bursting bubbles. Meanwhile Taiwan’s ecconomy is exploding. largely driven by critical industries China lags in. Like semiconductors.

From what I understand Hong Kong was likewise growing rapidly while China was lagging, just before that whole thing went down.

China’s got plenty of land and resources. They can do all the nasty forced development they’d like all over the Uyghurs.

They seem to want to absorb economies.

North Korea doesn’t get them a thriving tech sector, bleeding edge chip fabs. Massive automotive and equipment manufacturing capabilities. Huge banks to nationalize.

7 Likes

The magazine Parameters mooted the prospect of Taiwan sabotaging the chip fabs as a scorched earth tactic,

https://press.armywarcollege.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3089&context=parameters

3 Likes

Certainly there’s no rational reason to want that liability. But it is an area that the Mongols controlled. And the Mongol dynasty has been “adopted” and rebranded by the CCP as just another Chinese dynasty rather than a bunch of foreign invaders so that is part of the former glory of the Middle kingdom that the Communist Dynasty would certainly like to lay claim to.

6 Likes