[tz] Taiwan (Asia/Taipei) Abbrevation

Paul Eggert eggert at cs.ucla.edu
Sat Dec 26 20:51:38 UTC 2015

Matt Johnson wrote:
> Should we update the current abbreviation to either NST or TST?  CST doesn't seem right.

This is an area where no abbreviation is perfect.

As I understand it part of the confusion is that although CST typically stands 
for China Standard Time in international English, in Taiwan among the few people 
who care about these things in English it also stands for Chungyuan Standard 
Time, which is partly a Wade-Giles romanization of, and partly an English 
translation of, "中原時區" ("Central Plain Standard Time"); this is what the 
Nationalist government called the UTC+8 time zone that was partly implemented in 
China before 1949. This latter, more-specialized use of CST was never intended 
in the tz database. So, although from the point of view of a Taiwanese time nerd 
the abbreviation "CST" may seem politically obsolete, from an international 
viewpoint "CST" is still a quite common abbreviation.

We are concerned only with English-language abbreviations. Of course if usage 
changes the abbreviation should too (that is what happened with Australia). That 
being said, in looking at what is published in English-language books and so 
forth, my impression is that "CST" still predominates, if only due to inertia. 
I'm a fan of inertia.

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