Sun, Jul 10, 2005 - Page 1 News List

`Taiwan Republic' is the nation's real name, pro-independence group says

OFFICIAL TITLE A group is promoting changing the national title to `Taiwan Republic' and setting the goal of having a new constitution for the nation signed into law by 2008

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

A member of the 908 Taiwan Republic Campaign wearing a mask of former president Lee Teng-hui crosses out the sentence ``The Republic of China vs the People's Republic of China,'' saying that the sentence ``Taiwan Republic vs China'' is the goal of Lee's ``special state-to-state'' dictum.

PHOTO: WANG YIH-SUNG, TAIPEI TIMES

Taiwan has been an independent state for 54 years and its title should be the Taiwan Republic, a pro-independence organization said yesterday.

"We are calling on the opposition parties not to embrace the thighs of [fawn over] China, and for the Democratic Progressive Party [DPP] government not to espouse the `Republic of China,'" said Peter Wang (王獻極), convener of the 908 Taiwan Republic Campaign.

Wang was speaking during a press conference marking the sixth anniversary of the "special state-to-state" dictum introduced by former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) during his presidency.

"The theory may be a small step for the former president, but it is a giant step for the Taiwan Republic and the two states refer to China and Taiwan Republic rather than China and Republic of China," Wang said. "We are dedicated to following in his footsteps and calling on the 23 million people of Taiwan to jointly accomplish the historic mission of changing the country's name to Taiwan."

Wang announced that his group would hold a flag-raising ceremony for the Taiwan Republic at 9am on Sept. 8 on Ketagelan Boulevard to celebrate the 54th anniversary of the inking of the San Francisco Peace Treaty to raise public awareness of the nation's identity.

"Taiwan became independent on Sept. 8, 1951, when 49 UN members signed the San Francisco Peace Treaty, in which the Japanese empire renounced its sovereignty over Taiwan after its defeat in World War II," Wang said. "The name of the country should be the Taiwan Republic and nothing else."

A candlelight gathering is planned for 7pm on the same day at Manka Park across from Lungshan Temple in Taipei City's Wanhua (萬華) District. Organizers hope to see a turnout of about 1,000 people at the flag-raising ceremony and 2,000 people at the evening event.

The group's short and long-term goals, Wang said, are to hold an inspection of the armed forces of the Taiwan Republic on Ketagelan Boulevard on the 55th anniversary of the peace accord next year and to see the president of the Taiwan Republic sign into law the Taiwan Republic Constitution on the day of his or her inauguration on May 20, 2008.

Among those supporting the group's goals are Presidential Office national policy adviser and lawyer Chuang Po-lin (莊柏林), DPP Legislator Wang To-far (王塗發) and campaign co-organizer Wang Li-tsu (王麗子).

Chuang said that China's "one-China" rhetoric has seriously jeopardized Taiwan's national interest and social security.

"Without extradition codes, we cannot bring back culprits committing hideous crimes here who elude the law by escaping overseas," he said. "With the `one-China' policy in place, China has been telling other countries to deal with them, not us, because they claim sovereignty over us."

Although Taiwan is already an independent, sovereign state, Wang To-far said that its biggest problem lies in the lack of a national identity.

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