Fri, Jul 12, 2002 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan's Lions Club gets another temporary name

By Lindy Yeh  /  STAFF REPORTER

Taiwan's chapter of Lions Clubs International (LCI) has unexpectedly been given another new temporary name: "Taiwan Area, MD 300."

At Wednesday's opening of the the LCI annual meeting in Osaka, Japan, the chapter was unexpectedly introduced by the new name, rather than just "MD 300," the name LCI had agreed to use temporarily after it scrapped the name "ROC Lions Club," allegedly under Chinese pressure.

"MD300" is the chapter's district number.

A leading member of the chapter told the Taipei Times yesterday that the new name was unacceptable.

"`Taiwan Area' is just a temporary name for us until the dispute over the Taiwan chapter's name is settled." said Danny Hsu (徐明德), former chairman of the chapter.

Hsu said that the dispute over the name and flag would be discussed at an informal meeting between representatives from LCI, Taiwan's chapter and China in August or September.

When asked if the Taiwan chapter would accept "Taiwan Area, MD 300" as the the club's permanent name, Hsu said "no."

"Although `Taiwan Area' sounds more flexible than the name `China Taiwan' given by LCI, the term implies somehow that Taiwan is a area of China, which is unacceptable," Hsu said yesterday.

Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Katherine Chang (張小月) said yesterday that the ministry would prefer "Taiwan" as the chapter's name, "but China didn't want to accept it."

Chang said the ministry would continue to offer assistance to the Taiwan chapter in negotiations on its name and flag.

LCI changed the Taiwan chapter's name in April from "ROC Lions Club" to "China Taiwan Lions Club," without consulting the chapter, after chapters from Guangdong and Shenzhen in China joined.

Since the two new Chinese chapters are named "China Guangdong" and "China Shenzhen," the name " China Taiwan" would suggest it was a part of China, the Taiwan chapter said.

The design of the Taiwan chapter's flag was also changed from Taiwan's national flag with a LCI logo on it to a plum flower on a red, white and blue tricolor.

After protests and negotiations with LCI, the Taiwan chapter agreed on the temporary name "MD 300" and the tricolor for the Osaka meeting.

However, on Tuesday, more than 600 members of the chapter protested outside the convention venue, chanting "Taiwan-Yes, China Taiwan-No" to complain about the change.

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