Carey Lai's Corner

A former lemonade stand entrepreneur turned Venture Capitalist

I’m Taiwanese American, But Aren’t You Chinese American? By The Way, Thai Food Comes From Thailand not Taiwan

TaiwaneseFestivalMany of my friends wonder why the discrepancy between Taiwanese American vs. Chinese American?  After all, you don’t hear people say Hong Kong American or Shanghai American.  Aren’t you all Chinese American?  Well, I guess I would describe it like this.  Back during the Bush II administration, I must admit that I was pretty embarrassed by our President.  When traveling abroad, I would often say that I’m Californian.  It’s similar to New York residents labeling themselves as New Yorkers.  Yes, we’re all American and we’re all proud to be Americans, however, there are distinct and separate pockets even amongst ourselves.  Along the same lines, Taiwan has a very complex history with China.  For those who don’t know, Taiwan was recognized as the Republic of China (ROC) until President Nixon officially recognized the Peoples Republic of China (PRC).  Ever since Chiang-Kai Shek took over the island, the PRC has labeled Taiwan as a rogue province with aspirations to take the island back, even threatening the island nation by military force.  Where the analogy breaks down is that Taiwan is a separate and independent country, whereas California and New York are still part of the USA.  Being Taiwanese really is more than being Californian in the sense that Taiwan represents independent freedom and democracy.  It doesn’t receive any handouts from the PRC.  It’s important to understand that the Taiwan people are proud of all these accomplishments over the past 60+ years including developing some of the leading technology manufacturers in the world.

So, now you know the difference between Taiwanese vs. Chinese.  Yes, both countries share a common language and heritage, however, there are subtle differences between the two that make a big difference.

And, oh by the way, Thai food comes from Thailand not Taiwan.  You’d be surprised how many people have asked me this.

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This entry was posted on July 26, 2012 by in Uncategorized.
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