Sat, Aug 16, 2003 - Page 4 News List

Now is the time to change Taiwan's name, scholar says

By Chang Yun-ping  /  STAFF REPORTER

In the advent of the completion of a series of major national development schemes in China, which are to be finalized before 2010, the Republic of China should endeavor to formulate a cohesive national identity and change its official name to Taiwan, a Japanese expert in international relations said yesterday.

Mineo Nakajima, former superintendent of the Tokyo Foreign Language University and a prominent scholar in international affairs, said: "Taiwan should exploit the opportunity to formulate a cohesive national identity and rectify its name before China reaches the peak of its national strength by hosting the 2008 Olympic Games, completing construction of the Three Gorges Dam in 2009, and holding the World Exposition in 2010."

Invited by Taiwan Advocates, a think-tank founded by former President Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), Nakajima yesterday made the statements while lecturing members of the Lee Teng-hui School prior to participating in an international conference today about Hong Kong's experience of the "one country, two systems" formula.

Nakajima said, "it will be best for Taiwan to change its name and complete the process of pursuing a national identity before 2010, as China would be preoccupied with its national development plans until then -- which would not allow it to use force against Taiwan.

"The international community would focus its attention on the robust development of China at this time and it would prevent China from attacking Taiwan. Meanwhile, growing internal problems in Chinese society, including the increasing disparity between rich and poor, the deterioration of its ecological situation and its economic jitters would also take full effect by then. Solving these problems would preoccupy China, so it would not invade Taiwan," Nakajima said.

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