Thu, Aug 30, 2007 - Page 4 News List

DPP resolution to nix ROC calendar

`NORMAL COUNTRY' DPP Legislator Hsu Kuo-yung said that following the Gregorian calendar is a world trend and that it is `no big deal' for Taiwan to also do so

STAFF WRITER , WITH CNA

A passage stipulating that the Republic of China (ROC) calendar be phased out and replaced with the Gregorian calendar will probably be included in the Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) newly drafted "normal country" resolution, party sources said yesterday.

DPP caucus whip Wang Tuoh (王拓) said that adopting the Gregorian calendar instead of the ROC calendar, or minkuo (民國) is more convenient for Taiwanese in the face of increasing globalization and would also "allow Taiwan to be uplinked to the world."

Wang appealed to the public not to "over-interpret" the calendar change politically.

The passage was not included in the DPP-drafted version of a "normal country" resolution that is set to form a critical part of the DPP's campaign platform for next year's presidential election, but after DPP Legislator Chai Trong-rong (蔡同榮) consulted Frank Hsieh (謝長廷), the party's presidential candidate, on Tuesday, Hsieh reportedly expressed no opposition to the idea that the proposal be included for discussion at a DPP Central Executive Committee meeting scheduled for today.

According to Wang, the proposal would likely be passed in today's meeting.

Also commenting on the proposal, DPP Legislator Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) said that following the Gregorian calendar is a world trend and that it is "no big deal" for Taiwan to also do so.

The resolution calls for the completion of the party's ultimate goal -- changing the nation's official name, writing a new constitution and holding a national referendum to underline Taiwan's status as an independent sovereign state.

The resolution says that since it has become very difficult to use the name Republic of China in the international community, the country should apply to join the UN, the WHO and other international bodies using the name "Taiwan."

The resolution originally suggested that the country's title be changed to Taiwan, that the ROC calendar be phased out and replaced with the Gregorian calendar, that the existing five branch government system be replaced with a three-branch one and that the special municipality designation be eradicated from the local government hierarchy.

As some DPP bigwigs, including Hsieh, questioned the plausibility of these proposals, they were all dropped from the final version of the draft resolution adopted on Monday.

The draft resolution will be submitted to the DPP Central Executive Committee for approval at its weekly meeting today and will then be put up for endorsement by party delegates at a party congress next month, Wang said.

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