Sun, Jul 01, 2007 - Page 3 News List

De-sinification wrong: diplomat

DISAPPROVAL Taiwan's representative to Singapore said his stay in the city state had taught him much about the ROC's history and to appreciate the Chiang legacy


The nation's representative to Singapore said he had decided to tender his resignation because he didn't see eye to eye with the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government's campaign of "de-sinification" and the removal of artifacts related to dictator Chiang Ka-shek's (蔣介石) regime.

Hu Wei-jen (胡為真) made the comments in an interview with Singapore's Lianhe Zaobao published yesterday.

He told the Chinese-language daily that he had said he had decided to end his 35-year career as a public servant.

Hu assumed his current post in June 2005. He is scheduled to return to Taiwan tomorrow.

He also told the Central News Agency (CNA) yesterday that he would travel to the US in September to serve as a visiting scholar at Harvard University.

"Since we are all clearly Chinese, I do not approve of some of the policies [adopted by the DPP administration,]" he was quoted as saying in the CNA report.

Hu said that Singapore and Taiwan treat the early history of the Republic of China (ROC) very differently.

In the two years he served as representative in Singapore, he said, he visited "Evening Garden", a museum dedicated to Sun Yat-sen (孫中山) more than a dozen times.

Hu said he visited the garden repeatedly not just because the picture of his own father was featured among the exhibits, but for the richness and educational content in the museum exhibits pertaining to the history of the ROC.

Hu is the son of Army general Hu Zongnan (胡宗南), who was one of Chiang's commanders.

"I have learned much that I didn't know about the ROC's history in Singapore," Hu Wei-jen told the CNA. "Even Singapore accepts and honors this history ... What right does Taiwan have to pull down the bronze [statue] of Chiang?"

Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Yeh Fei-bi (葉非比), noting that Hu Wei-jen is still a representative to Singapore, yesterday described his remarks as an act "incompatible with the duty of diplomatic personnel."

Yeh said Hu Wei-jen, while serving as the nation's representative to Germany and Singapore, has a history of putting personal views above his duties as a diplomat as well as putting personal interests above that of the nation.

The ministry will "begin to review the matter," Yeh said.

Taiwan Solidarity Union spokeswoman Chou Mei-li (周美里) and DPP Legislator Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴), who is a member of the legislature's Foreign and Overseas Chinese Affairs Committee, were critical of Hu Wei-jen when asked by reporters for comments.

"As a government official -- particularly as Taiwan's representative stationed abroad -- he ought to defend the government's policy. If he cannot agree with the government's policy, he should go," Chou said.

However, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator John Chiang (蔣孝嚴) and People First Party Legislator Daniel Hwang (黃義交), said they admired Hu for his courage in expressing his views.

Additional reporting by Flora Wang

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