Taiwan urged to address mislabeling by ISO as part of China

Taiwan listed as province of China since 1974 by International Organization for Standardization

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Taiwan listed as part of China according to ISO 3166 (iso.org screenshot)

Taiwan listed as part of China according to ISO 3166 (iso.org screenshot)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan's Control Yuan on Thursday (Nov. 7) urged the Executive Yuan to address the erroneous labeling of Taiwan as a province of China by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

The island has been wrongly referred to as “Taiwan, Province of China” since 1974 in ISO 3166, a standard that designates codes to represent the names of countries and their subdivisions, said Peter Chang (張武修) of the Control Yuan, an investigative agency that monitors other government branches.

The standard-setting body has also obstructed Taiwan from participating in events related to ISO matters, Chang added. Taiwan was a founding member of the ISO in 1947 but was stripped of membership in 1953 for having failed to pay fees since 1949, when the Nationalist government retreated to Taiwan.

Hindered by ISO and opposed by the Soviet Union, Taiwan tried but failed to restore its membership. The country lost its seat in the United Nations in 1971, and its endeavor to return to the organization was complicated by China’s joining the body in 1978, Chang pointed out.

The name labeling controversy has dragged on for years, and protests have been lodged every year to limited effect, said Taiwan’s Bureau of Standards, Metrology and Inspection. The agency stressed, however, that Taiwan has managed to indirectly participate in standard-setting events through the WTO, APEC, and various NGOs, wrote CNA.