Wed, Sep 12, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Yu presses need for official title change

CATCHING UP In light of recent comments by US officials, the DPP chairman believes the time has arrived for the nation to put an end to the ambiguity about its official title

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairman Yu Shyi-kun has begun seeking endorsement for an amendment to the party's draft "normal country" resolution approved by the party's Central Executive Committee. The amendment would push for the national title to be changed to "Taiwan," DPP Secretary-General Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) said yesterday.

Lin said Yu had proposed the amendment in response to recent comments by US officials. He did not elaborate.

But director of the DPP's Culture and Information Department Super Meng (孟義超) said Yu was worried about recent international events, such as comments by senior US officials to the effect that Taiwan, or the Republic of China, is not a state.

On Aug. 30, Dennis Wilder, senior director for East Asian affairs at the US National Security Council, told reporters that the statehood of Taiwan was an undecided issue and that it was not qualified to be a member of the UN.

Wilder's comments came after US Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte said on Aug. 27 that the US government opposes Taiwan's plan for a UN membership referendum because Washington views such activity as a move toward a declaration of independence for Taiwan.

Meng said the chairman believes Taiwan's name cannot remain ambiguous and therefore Yu insists the party should finalize a "normal country" resolution that includes a clause stipulating the name of the country as "Taiwan."

The DPP's Central Executive Committee passed its "normal country" resolution draft on Aug. 30, highlighting the need for the nation to hold a referendum at an appropriate time stressing Taiwan's independent statehood.

The draft, however, did not specify "Taiwan" as the national title but only stipulated that the nation should correct its title and write a new constitution as soon possible.

The party said Yu's proposal would seek to specify "Taiwan" as the national title in a bid to "declare to the international community that it is an independent sovereignty."

During an address to the World Taiwanese Federation Association's annual convention in Osaka, Japan, on Monday night, Yu explained his determination to propose the amendment during the party's congress on Sept 30.

"Many people fear that [my] comments may scare swing voters because in the past our goal of correcting the nation's name and writing a new constitution were considered `deep green' or extreme," Yu said.

"Last year, a survey by National Chengchi University and academics from Okinawa and Hong Kong showed that 74 percent of respondents believed Taiwan is an independent state," he said.

"Therefore, we have to catch up with public opinion within Taiwan," he said. "The time to declare independence is drawing nearer and nearer."

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