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East Asia

, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 31–55 | Cite as

Stamped out!: Carto-philatelic evidence of the PRC’s constructed notion of China’s territorial integrity

  • Alan M. Wachman
Articles

Abstract

Carto-philatelic imagery illustrates that the “mental map” of China underlying territorial policies of the People's Republic of China is constructed, contingent, and impermanent. Although it has claimed Taiwan by asserting primordial sovereignty, declaring the island to have been part of China “since ancient times,” the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has not always viewed the island as part of China. Although it recognized the independence of Mongolia in 1950, before it came to power as the government of the state the CCP envisioned Mongolia as part of China. Postage stamps issued in territories governed by the CCP before 1949 juxtaposed to stamps issued by the Republic of China government affirm what documents suggest: that China's boundaries have not been immutable and have been highly contested by Chinese political elite. This should prompt readers to view with skepticism categorical claims about China's sovereignty and “territorial integrity.”

Keywords

Cartography Postage stamps Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Cross-Strait dispute Taiwan 

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Copyright information

© Transaction Publishers 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alan M. Wachman

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