Wed, Jun 25, 2008 - Page 1 News List

Australian group amends ‘Province of China’ name


Democratic Progressive Party legislators Kuan Bi-ling, left, and Twu Shiing-jer hold a press conference yesterday to protest Taiwan’s listing as “Taiwan, Province of China” on a registration Web site for the Vatican’s 2008 World Youth Day and called on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to rectify the matter immediately.


The Australian organizer of 2008 World Youth Day responded quickly to protests from Taiwan and removed the designation “Province of China” from its name in the pull-down menu for countries on its registration Web site.

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Kuan Bi-ling (管碧玲) on Monday night said Taiwan had been listed as “Taiwan, Province of China” on the online registration site, urging the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) to get involved.

By 1pm Taipei time, the name displayed in the menu on the site had been changed to “Taiwan.”

MOFA spokeswoman Phoebe Yeh (葉非比) told the Central News Agency that according to the Vatican’s charge d’affaires to Taiwan Paul F. Russell, the event’s official Web site is

The registration site in question,, is a social networking Web site for youngsters who wish to volunteer for the event and is not endorsed by the Holy See, Russell said, according to Yeh.

Earlier yesterday at a regular press briefing, Yeh said that the foreign ministry had enlisted the help of the Vatican to correct the nation’s title by requesting Tu Chu-sheng (杜筑生), MOFA’s ambassador to the Vatican, to bring up the issue with the Holy See.

“The Vatican replied that it was a mistake made by the Australian organizers and said it would contact them as soon as possible,” she said.

Yeh said Taiwan was listed as “TAIWAN” on the official event Web site at

World Youth Day is scheduled to be held in Sydney from July 15 to July 20 this year.

World Youth Day, which was initiated by Pope John Paul II in 1984, is a youth-oriented Roman Catholic Church promotional event aimed at young people.

Held every three years at different locations, the event brings together young people from around the globe to celebrate and learn about their faith on a more regular basis.

This year’s event is expected to be the largest event Australia has ever hosted. It will attract over 125,000 international visitors — as many as for the 2000 Olympics. World Youth Day 2008 will mark the first visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Australia.

Taiwan established diplomatic ties with the Vatican in 1942 and the Holy See remains Taiwan’s only diplomatic ally in Europe.

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