Fri, Feb 09, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Chen pushes corporate name-change

SIGN OF THE TIMES In his e-newsletter, the president backed renaming the postal service and stamps, while CPC staff protested a plan to change their firm's name

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Members of the Taiwan Petroleum Workers' Union protest outside the Ministry of Economic Affairs yesterday against the government's decision to change the name of the Chinese Petroleum Corp to ``Taiwan CPC Corporation.''


President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) weighed in yesterday on the recent debate on name rectification, saying he supported replacing "Chunghwa" on the nation's postage stamps with "Taiwan."

At present, the stamps bear the country's official name, Republic of China, in English and Chinese.

"I believe we will soon see a satisfactory outcome, including the long-awaited terms `Taiwan Post' and `Taiwan Post,'" Chen said in his latest weekly e-newsletter.

Chen suggested state-owned Chunghwa Post -- Chunghwa means "China" -- would change its name to Taiwan Post.

At a separate setting yesterday, Chunghwa Post president Lai Ching-chyi (賴清祺) said a board meeting would be held today to amend references in its charter from "Chunghwa Post" to "Taiwan Post."

A nameplate bearing the name of "Taiwan Stamp" will also be unveiled on Monday, he said.

In his e-newsletter Chen said the public seemed to approve the government's changing the name of Chiang Kai-shek International Airport to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport. The change took effect last September.

That showed that what most people want is a name that fits reality so that we can express ourselves without restriction and not to be confused, he said.

"We will change the names of state-owned enterprises, of the country's embassies and of laws and regulations step by step," he said, adding that the government has noticed the importance of name rectification and has been making a study of its implementation.

The government recently said that the state-run Chinese Petroleum Corp (CPC) and China Shipbuilding Corp would soon be renamed, with "Taiwan" included in their titles.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Yu Shyi-kun recently urged the government to implement what he called "transitional justice" issues -- changing the names of Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, all the Chungcheng roads (中正路), withdrawing the military police guard at Chiang's mausoleum and removing Chiang's image from the nation's icons.

The name rectification plan has been criticized by the opposition, who said the DPP was deliberately trying to stir up ethnic conflict.

"Some people oppose name rectification of state-owned enterprises because changing the names will cost a lot of money in redoing trademark, contracts, regulations and designs, but this way of thinking puts the cart before the horse," Chen said.

Chen said all well-known enterprises represent their countries of origin.

"For example, Nokia is from Finland, Microsoft is from the US and Toyota is from Japan," he said, adding that changing the name of state-owned enterprises would make them more recognizable in the international community, which in turn would help expand their business opportunities.

"If it is the right thing to do, then we should do it," Chen said.

Presidential Office Secretary-General Chiou I-jen (邱義仁) told reporters later yesterday that what Chen said in his e-newletter had nothing to do with rectifying the country's name.

"The direction President Chen pointed out is being carried out gradually by the Executive Yuan. There is no need to associate that with the country's name," he said.

Taiwan is in a predicament when it comes to the issue of changing its name, Chiou said.

"Taiwan is not allowed to use the name `Republic of China,' nor is it allowed to change its name," he said.

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