Two calls to sign this petition have been floating around my inbox recently:
Being from Hong Kong, I quickly submitted my name to support this cause. Thoughts stirred in my head: What was the UN doing? Is this a signal for Taiwan? Does this mean Hong Kong will switch to simplified Chinese soon?
Upon further research however, it seems have all been a hoax based upon a chain of sloppy journalism. According to Xiao Zhao who took the time to investigate the matter:
…the rumor was obviously started with a false message from a professor in China, named Chan, Zhang Tai who casually said UN will stop use Traditional Chinese in 2008 to a reporter with a Chinese newspaper in Hong Kong, Oriental Daily in March 2006. The reporter didn’t confirm with UN and just went ahead reporting what professor Chan said. Later on, UN had to announce that there is not abolishment of traditional Chinese in 2008 and UN has never used Traditional Chinese since 1971.
See the full exposee at Xiao Zhao’s blog: A Country Bumpkin Offering Sunshine.