Thu, Mar 14, 2002 - Page 3 News List

Lawmakers quibble over GIO Web site and possible official names for Taiwan

IN HOT WATER The director-general of the GIO Arthur Iap defended the current practice of inserting `ROC on Taiwan' on the front page of the official GIO Web site

By Monique Chu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Lawmakers yesterday held disparate opinions on whether or not the Web site of the Government Information Office (GIO) should adhere to the formal designation of Taiwan, the Republic of China (ROC).

But the director-general of the GIO Arthur Iap (葉國興) defended the current practice of inserting "ROC on Taiwan" on the front page of the GIO Web site, saying "ROC on Taiwan" was adopted long before the arrival of the DPP administration.

"As early as 1987, when the late president Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國) still ruled the country, our main publication towards the outside world, the Free China Journal, adopted ROC on Taiwan," Iap said in the legislature yesterday.

"And perhaps I should consult with former GIO chief Shaw Yu-ming (邵玉銘), asking him why he followed Chiang's instructions," Iap said.

Shaw served as the KMT government spokesman from 1987 to 1991.

Iap made the remarks after being grilled by PFP legislator Sun Ta-chi (孫大千) for the lack of appearance of Taiwan's formal designation, the ROC, on the front page of the GIO's Web site.

Sun said he found it unacceptable that Taiwan's formal designation did not appear on the official Web site.

DPP legislator Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) disagreed with Sun.

She said that the GIO should alternate the use of Taiwan and ROC, and preferably adopt Taiwan first, while it reaches out to the international community.

"I hope that the GIO can use Taiwan, and then make proper use of ROC, especially when facing Taiwan's diplomatic allies," Hsiao said.

The GIO in January announced that it would ditch its decade-long emblem that features an image of China.

The new emblem features a bridge, symbolizing the GIO's role as a bridge between the government and the public, officials said.

The then GIO chief Su Tzen-ping (蘇正平) has dismissed charges by critics that the GIO's move to abandon the old emblem was indicative of the DPP-led government's pro-independence stance.

The former GIO emblem, which had featured the ROC national flag and a map of China, was first used in 1988 under the instruction of former GIO chief Shaw.

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