Tue, Feb 13, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Name-change controversy: Ma vows to reverse stamp move

STAMPED OUT The KMT chairman said that if elected president, he would put a stop to issuing stamps labeled with 'Taiwan' because they will 'only cause more confusion'

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER , WITH CNA

Taiwan Post Co will issue the first set of stamps marked "Taiwan" on Feb. 28, featuring the Taipei 228 Memorial Museum as the theme, officials said yesterday, but the move may be short-lived, as the opposition has pledged to reverse the policy.

The stamps will be the first to carry the Chinese characters for "Taiwan stamp" after the company formally changed its name from "Chunghwa Post Co" (中華郵政) to "Taiwan Post Co" (臺灣郵政) yesterday, including the full-form, older version of the character for tai.

However, other stamps already prepared with the words "Republic of China" will continue to be printed in the first quarter of this year, the officials said.

The Ministry of Transportation and Communications ordered Taiwan Post to prepare the set of Taiwan stamps last year in time for a Feb. 28 release, they said, adding that "Republic of China" stamps would stop being issued in April at the earliest.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday warned that his party would act to restore the words "Republic of China" to stamps if the party wins next year's presidential election.

"Stamps represent the nation. You can't change the name on a stamp unless the nation's name -- as stipulated in the Constitution -- is changed," Ma said at a press conference.

"It's not because we feel repulsion at the name `Taiwan,' but because `Taiwan' can't be used to replace `Republic of China,'" he said.

Ma labeled the government's move to drop "Republic of China" from stamps as a "subject for amusement" among the international community.

Ma said that the KMT did not oppose the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government when it added the word "Taiwan" to passports and to agreements it has signed with its allies.

He said that the inclusion of "Taiwan" in the two sets of circumstances was acceptable because they were done for the purpose of eliminating confusion.

However, he said, the change on stamps "would only cause more confusion" over the nation's name.

"American stamps bear the name of the United States, and British stamps bear the name of the United Kingdom, Ma said at the press conferenc.

Our stamps should bear the name `Republic of China,'" he said.

Earlier yesterday, Ma also said there was no need for the nation to change its name.

"It's now the 96th year of the Republic. Of course there's no need to change the name of `Republic of China' nor the name of Chunghwa Post Co," he said.

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