Sun, Sep 28, 2003 - Page 4 News List

Even bigger name-change protest planned next year

CNA , TAIPEI

An official of the Alliance to Campaign for Rectifying the Name of Taiwan, which organized a major protest earlier this month, said yesterday that it is planning to mobilize an even larger demonstration of half a million people next year to promote the name change.

Wang Hsien-chi (王獻極), alliance executive director, made the announcement after former President Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) said that he hopes to continue to build momentum for the movement in the run-up to the presidential election of March 20 next year.

The former president, speaking at a leadership academy named after him, said that the "native regime" must continue and be firmly established and that all Taiwan's people should lend their support to this idea.

Lee, who has taken to describing the rule of the opposition Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) as an "alien regime," was the chief marshal of the September march, which brought tens of thousands of people onto the streets.

Elaborating on Lee's words, Wang said that alliance officials have tentatively agreed to set Feb. 22 or Feb. 28 as the date for next year's march.

If the demonstration is held on Feb. 28 -- the day on which the 228 Incident is commemorated -- it will resonate with native consciousness, as thousands of Taiwan's elite were murdered by the KMT during the chaos in the wake of the 228 Incident in 1947 and the ensuing "white terror," Wang added.

According to Wang, the name-change movement has nothing to do with political parties.

He described the movement as a mass social education campaign that will "transcend political parties, ethnic groups and gender" and that its main purpose is to promote and implement the idea that Taiwan's leadership should firmly establish the country's identify and follow the correct path of a "native regime."

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