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It has been nearly three years since I last visited the People's Republic of China (PRC). Why the full name? Well, despite the official rhetoric, or myth, of One China as adhered to by most of the world, I personally recognise also the sovereignty of the Republic of China (ROC), better known as Taiwan.

I remember a taxi ride in Shanghai. As it turned out, the ride was value for money, for in addition to reaching my destination on time, I also received a 'patriotism' session for free. The driver, having learnt that I was an 'overseas Chinese', asked enthusiastically as to who I would support if China and Malaysia met in a football match.

To his dismay, I replied: "It does not matter really. I support the team that plays well." The grin on his face quickly wore off, and in a serious tone, the driver sought to correct me. "This is not right. You should support China because you are a Chinese descendent. You must not forget your roots."

In retrospect, I guess there was a more correct answer for the question. Going by the logic of the Shanghaiese driver, I should pledge my support to the Republic of China. As a matter of fact, my grandparents came to British Malaya in the 1920s as nationals of the ROC, then ruled by the Nationalists. They never had a chance to experience how it was like to live in the PRC under the Communists.

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