Elsewhere, Bu Lai En asked:
Cranky: I’ve always been curious about that Department of Tibetan and Mongolian Affairs. What is it for and what does it do?
It dates back to when the ROC controlled China, i.e. when there really was a need for it.
What does it do now? Not a damn thing that I know of, other than piss off the Tibetans by its very existence. So why hasn’t it been eliminated? At first, cuz the old-timers liked to maintain the fiction of ROC sovereignty over all of China. (Note that the old-style ROC maps of “China” include Mongolia and slightly different boundaries elsewhere.) Even under the DPP administration, however, the MTAC remains, probably because eliminating it would cause Beijing to scream bloody murder (not just a cliche in this case) about the “splittists.”
Chen started out his administration by promising not to change the name of the country, etc. I suppose not killing off the MTAC was one of his goodwill gestures.
There’s been talk of merging the MTAC with the Hakka and Aborigine commissions. I don’t know if anything will come of this.
In the meanwhile, the MTAC has apparently tried to improve relations with Tibetans in exile. One such effort ended in complete failure. www.taipeitimes.com/news/2001/01/07/story/0000068758