Thu, May 18, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Pro-independence supporters promote `Taiwan the Green' for national anthem

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Despite President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) recent appeal, in which he urged the public to sing the national anthem out loud, pro-independence legislators and activists yesterday said they preferred another song called Taiwan the Green (台灣翠青) as the national anthem.

Chanting the Taiwanese song in a press conference at the legislature, they urged the government to replace the current national anthem, which they termed a song of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), with Taiwan the Green.

"I don't identify with the current national anthem at all. There is no way that I want to sing it," Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chai Trong-rong (蔡同榮) said.

Chang Jen-chieh (張人傑), the secretary-general of the Taiwan Association of University Professors, said it would be unfortunate if Taiwan, a democratic nation, did not have the right to decide its own national anthem and used a song belonging to a political party.

Taiwan the Green is a poem written by John Jyigiokk (鄭兒玉), a professor at the Tainan Theological College and Seminary. It was set to music by the Taiwanese composer Hsiao Tyzen (蕭泰然) in 1988.

The song conveys the message that Taiwanese will realize the dream of building an independent nation and has significant meaning for those who advocate Taiwan's democratization, Chai said.

Later yesterday, the KMT legislative caucus told a press conference that they opposed changing the national anthem, saying that the call to change the anthem was intended to shift the media's focus away from government scandals.

"What the national anthem is, is not important. The meaning of singing it is to bear the nation in mind," KMT caucus whip Pan Wei-kang (潘維剛) said.

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