Writer protests Man Booker Prize list­ing na­tion­al­ity as ‘ Tai­wan, China’

The Asian Age - - World -

Taipei, March 30: A Tai­wanese au­thor whose novel is nom­i­nated for the renowned Man Booker In­ter­na­tional Prize said he will protest to the awards or­gan­iser for chang­ing his na­tion­al­ity to “Tai­wan, China.”

Wu Ming- yi’s “The Stolen Bi­cy­cle” was among the 13 books longlisted for the pres­ti­gious award.

The au­thor said his na­tion­al­ity on the Man Booker web­site had been changed from “Tai­wan” to “Tai­wan, China” since the list was an­nounced.

The in­ci­dent fol­lows Bei­jing’s re­buke of for­eign firms — in­clud­ing Zara, Mar­riott, and Delta — for list­ing Tai­wan as a sep­a­rate coun­try on their web­sites.

Tai­wan has been sel­f­ruled since split­ting from the main­land af­ter a 1949 civil war, but China con­tin­ues to claim sovereignty over the is­land.

Bei­jing has in­creased pres­sure on Tai­wan’s Pres­i­dent Tsai Ing- wen as she has re­fused to ac­knowl­edge the is­land is part of “one China.”

Wu said on his Face­book page he can­not agree Tai­wan is part of China.

“My na­tion­al­ity on the web page has been changed from Tai­wan to Tai­wan, China, which is not my per­sonal po­si­tion on this is­sue,” he said.

“I will there­fore seek as­sis­tance in ex­press­ing my per­sonal po­si­tion to the awards or­gan­i­sa­tion,” he wrote.

The Man Booker or­gan­is­ers said they were ad­vised “Tai­wan, China” was the “cor­rect, po­lit­i­cally neu­tral form.”

They added they were seek­ing clar­i­fi­ca­tion from Bri­tain’s For­eign and Com­mon­wealth Of­fice.

“We are aware that Wu Ming- yi de­fines him­self as Tai­wanese and have kept him in­formed through­out the process,” they said in a state­ment Fri­day.

Wu’s book, writ­ten in Chi­nese and trans­lated into English, is about a novelist search­ing for his miss­ing fa­ther’s bi­cy­cle.

Wu Ming- yi

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