Sat, Jul 19, 2003 - Page 3 News List

Groups present ideas to foreign minister Chien on `Taiwan'

By Monique Chu  /  STAFF REPORTER

A pro-independence alliance yesterday petitioned Minister of Foreign Affairs Eugene Chien (簡又新) to use "Taiwan" in the nation's UN bid and for the official names of the country's overseas representative offices.

Amid the scorching sun, members of the Alliance to Campaign for Rectifying the Name of Taiwan earlier yesterday afternoon gathered in front of the foreign ministry building before their meeting with Chien.

Some 20 members then began to walk around in a circle in the ministry square amid the gaze of increased security forces, shouting "Sept. 6," the date for the scheduled march in Taipei aiming at the name rectification for the country.

The rally, originally planned as a 100,000-strong march on May 11, was rescheduled because of the SARS outbreak. The march will be held in early two days before the UN General Assembly convenes.

The alliance members, in their subsequent meeting with Chien, said Taiwan should apply for its UN membership under the name of "Taiwan" instead of the nation's formal designation of the Republic of China (ROC).

Speaking in turns, National Policy Advisors Ng Chiao-tong (黃昭堂), Huang Hua (黃華) and Chuang Po-lin (莊柏林) also urged the foreign ministry to rectify the name of the nation's embassies as well as overseas representative offices to "Taiwan."

Ng, national convener of the alliance, recognized the ministry's effort to insert the Roman script of "Taiwan" onto the nation's passport covers, a change slated to begin in September.

Although it's difficult to go ahead with the nation's UN bid under the name of "Taiwan," the foreign ministry should stick to it, Ng said, who is also the chairman of World United Formosans for Independence.

In response, Chien said the ministry understood the requests from the alliance and would take these suggestions into consideration during pertinent policy-making process.

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