Moleskine, manufacturer of popular notebooks, calendars, and sketchbooks, seems to think Taiwain sank to the bottom of the ocean or something. In 2019 its notebooks indicated Taiwan's public holidays along with those of 43 other countries. In 2020 it started referring to the country as "Taiwan (Prov. of China)." In 2021 it used "Taiwan (Province of China)." In 2022 it replaced any mention of Taiwan with a blank line.
By subsequently removing all information about Taiwan, Moleskine had effectively "deleted" tens of millions of people from the map, says Didi Kirsten Tatlow, a senior fellow with the Asia Program at the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) in Berlin.
"It's a detail, but it's like a process of obliteration. It's really quite extraordinary," Tatlow tells Newsweek. "The fact that it seems small on the surface is deceptive actually, because what it tells us is that there seems to be this effort to obliterate Taiwan in terms of its name, its international dialing code, its holidays even."
"It tells us that for the party in Beijing, there's really no detail too small. And that's rather a frightening thing because there is really nowhere you can go to escape this very controlling scrutiny," Tatlow adds.