Wed, Dec 08, 2004 - Page 1 News List

Taiwan is but a lamb and China is a rogue: MOFA spokesman

By Melody Chen and Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTERS

Stressing the legitimacy for the government to pursue rectification of its overseas missions, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesman Michel Lu (呂慶龍) yesterday urged the international community not to allow China -- which he called "a rogue" -- to continue bullying and threatening Taiwan.

"The international community shouldn't tolerate China, which is a rogue state, constantly bullying Taiwan, which is a small lamb, of because we [Taiwan] have been more obedient," Lu said.

In response to US State Department Adam Ereli's remarks on Monday, Lu said Taiwanese people want dignity for their country by rectifying the names of overseas offices, and wish the nation can participate more in international organizations under a proper name.

Also commenting on Ereli's remark, the Presidential Office said yesterday President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) proposal to change the names of Taiwan's overseas representative offices has nothing to do with changing the cross-strait "status quo."

Presidential Office Secretary-General Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told reporters Chen intends to highlight the entity of Taiwan by changing names of relevant government agencies, state-run enterprises and overseas missions.

Communication Is Key

"It has nothing to do with changing our national title. We face difficulties as we try to do so, but we have to solve these difficulties step by step and earn understanding through communication," Su said.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Mark Chen (陳唐山) stressed that even though Washington would not support name changes for Taiwan's overseas representative offices, the ministry would continue efforts to negotiate with their host countries to allow rectification of names of the offices to Taiwan.

Will of the People

The US does not support the name changes "probably because it does not sufficiently understand the will of the people of Taiwan," Mark Chen said.

"It is the will of the people of Taiwan to rectify the names of the country's overseas representative offices. Taiwan, as a democratic country, has to take its people's will into account," he added.

The foreign minister said the president did not mean to provoke the US by proposing the name changes.

Recognizing the international community's different opinions about name changes of Taiwan's overseas offices, he said the ministry would try to explain the name rectification proposal to host countries of the offices.

Diplomatic Mission

Cabinet Spokesman Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) said yesterday the Cabinet will dispatch government officials to Washington offer explanation to the US government in a bid to seek its support and understanding.

"Changing the names of state-controlled enterprises and trade and economic offices abroad is not equal to changing the national title nor will it violate the five pledges made by President Chen," Chen Chi-mai said.

"The US government has the Taiwan Relations Act. What else do they expect to call us if they don't call us Taiwan?" he said.

Passport Comparison

Premier Yu Shi-kun yesterday said that he respected the opinion of the US government and that the two countries required further negotiation.

Yu made the remark yesterday morning when campaigning for a DPP legislative candidate in Hsinchu City.

Yu said that the name change policy is similar to that of adding the word "Taiwan" on the cover of the Republic of China passport in Roman script, which helps lessen confusion with the People's Republic of China.

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