When I tried to select my country information in Careers 2.0, I surprisingly found that it shows Taiwan province of China.

It's not true, or not even close.

I'm really unhappy to see this. Taiwan is an independent democratic country with its own government and territory.

Please fix how the country is displayed.

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    Seems like the programmer who wrote that country list read this instead of this Commented Mar 5, 2013 at 5:01
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    The current fact is that Taiwan is an independent country. The government in Beijing exercises no authority of any sort in Taiwan. To ignore this and continue to list Taiwan is simply wrong, and ths situation should ba changed. Hopefully this community can quickly unite behind a consensus recognition of this.s. Commented Mar 5, 2013 at 7:12
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    Oh boy.. this is rather a sensitive political issue.. I'm hoping to not see any heated debates happen over this because I know many people from PRC who claim that Taiwan is a province of China and when I try to argue that this isn't the case.. well let's just say it doesn't end pretty.
    – TtT23
    Commented Mar 5, 2013 at 8:18
  • IMO it doesn't really matter if it is a province or a country. If people want to identify themselves with Taiwan, who am I to stop them? Commented Jul 10, 2015 at 16:10

2 Answers 2


Update: we've switched to "Taiwan".

We currently use exactly ISO 3166-1, which lists Taiwan as such, even though the truth is as you describe it. For now it's by design, but we'll think about changing it.

(I implemented this, and was equally concerned about Taiwan's description as you are, but I decided to use the standard since it is...the standard.)

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    according to that link, the standard is based on UN conventions, which has succumbed to political pressure from Communist China (fwiw, Mainland China has a pop of 1.3bln vs 23mln in Taiwan - given the political climate in Mainland China this kind of suppression is not surprising)
    – kfmfe04
    Commented Mar 5, 2013 at 5:13
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    Yes, I am fully aware of the situation. I read about it a few months back when I added the country list. We know that Taiwan is its own country. We like Taiwan. The question here is not about that. It is: do we want to use the standard, or the truth? This is hard since each has a strong case.
    – maddyblue
    Commented Mar 5, 2013 at 5:15
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    Indeed it's actually a political problem rather than a technical bug. But as an user from Taiwan, I would like to be called from "Taiwan" rather than from "a province of China".
    – zetachang
    Commented Mar 5, 2013 at 5:17
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    Related CMS question. Commented Mar 5, 2013 at 8:36
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    ISO-3166-1 reserves a few codes for user-assigned use (e.g. alpha-2 codes, alpha-3 codes, numeric codes). Surely you can pick one of those as your representation of "Taiwan (Republic of China)", and thereby resolve the issue while remaining standards-compliant?
    – Mac
    Commented Mar 5, 2013 at 9:59
  • @mjibson the selecting menu show "Taiwan", but when displayed, it's still "Taiwan, Province of China".
    – zetachang
    Commented Mar 6, 2013 at 0:37
  • @zetachang Fixed now. Thanks.
    – maddyblue
    Commented Mar 6, 2013 at 3:55
  • This is a great read - chinapost.com.tw/commentary/letters/2012/12/26/365325/… - even the ROC constitution says that Taiwan is a province of China, not a country in itself. Unless, of course, the Taiwanese citizen is ready to give up mainland.
    – tofutim
    Commented Feb 3, 2016 at 18:27
  • It probably should read "Taiwan, Province of China". It doesn't mean that Taiwan is a province of the People's Republic of China. In means that Taiwan is a province of Republic of China, and than mainland China is a part of ROC.
    – tofutim
    Commented Feb 3, 2016 at 18:28

The ISO 3166-1 standard most of us use when making an application (see for example this related question) is useful, especially for the unification of country codes.

But some country names, for political and diplomatic reasons, are a little too verbose for the purpose of a practical application like Stack Overflow.

I think some names could be simplified, which would make the lists more readable. For example :

 Bolivia, Plurinational State of => Bolivia
 Holy See (Vatican City State) => Vatican
 Taiwan, Province of China => Taiwan

We're already used to acronyms and other simplifications which let us communicate more easily when no ambiguity is possible.

  • Why pick on poor Bolivia? I preferred Venezuela's "recent" name change to "Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of". I keep a running commentary of these within my company and I have to congratulate both Fiji and Libya for bucking the trend and going shorter. I should add that you've picked the English "short" name from ISO 3166-1, there can be a longer version. Commented Mar 5, 2013 at 8:58
  • @benisuǝqbackwards Venezuela could be fixed too. Those were examples. Commented Mar 5, 2013 at 9:00
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    Yes but what rules would you use to determine the shorter abbreviated name? Just have a person arbitrarily deciding what to go with? That then stops being the 'standard' and becomes an interpretation. If you were to do that then why pick an ISO standard to begin with?
    – JonW
    Commented Mar 5, 2013 at 9:15
  • @JonW I propose just that : take the code part of the standard and let the smart educated mods of SO build a neutral efficient name list. If the coder is unsure for a name, I'm sure an internal discussion with people aware of the specific political disputes of a country will help him solve the naming problem. Life is politics and problems, we can't always rely on a simple rule, but educated people can solve this naming problem. Commented Mar 5, 2013 at 9:20
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    On the contrary - sticking to a rule for such a delicate subject means you're intentionally taking politics and educated info out of the debate, which means nobody can be accused of making decisions based on their beliefs or politics, just on a 'standard'. It's a bigger issue than just 'being educated' can solve. You're going to annoy some people either way you do it, at least people can't say you have ulterior motives if you just use the standards.
    – JonW
    Commented Mar 5, 2013 at 9:29
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    The present case proves that you can't always rely on other political decisions. The presentation I made ("simplification") is, in my opinion, a solution for the real problem without too much political engagement : it doesn't affirm Taiwan should be independant, it just uses a neutral and efficient name to which nobody can strongly disagree. The fact a few other names are changed too should help not making it a case against China. Commented Mar 5, 2013 at 9:32

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