A group of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers yesterday criticized president-elect Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) after he expressed reservations over the use of the word “Taiwan” on postage stamps, and accused him of discarding the name “Taiwan” like “toilet paper” after using it to win the March 22 election.
The lawmakers were referring to a request by Ma that the state postal company postpone the issuance of stamps to commemorate his May 20 inauguration on grounds that the use of the name “Taiwan” on the stamps would be “controversial” because it is not the country's official name.
The DPP legislators said Ma had expressed no such reservations when he used the slogan “Taiwan marches forward” in his election campaign.
The post office has printed “Taiwan,” rather than the country's official name, “Republic of China,” on its stamps in Chinese and English since February last year. The change came about after the post office's name was changed from “Chunghwa Post Co” (中華郵政) to “Taiwan Post Co” (台灣郵政).
The change was made as part of the DPP administration's efforts to revise the names of state-owned enterprises that contained references to China. The DPP said this was done to avoid confusion with similarly named organizations in China. “Chunghwa” means “Chinese” or “China.”
Expressing regret and surprise at Ma's decision on the commemorative stamps, the DPP lawmakers asked whether he would rename everything that included the word “Taiwan” in its title after his inauguration.
“Does the word ‘Taiwan' sound so unpleasant to the ears? How is it that Ma, before the election, claimed he would do anything for Taiwan but is taking a different stance now that the election is over?” DPP Legislator Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃) asked.
Yeh Yi-jin (葉宜津), a DPP caucus whip, argued that the the DPP administration's decision to rename “Chunghwa Post Co” was aimed at protecting national interests.
The move was criticized by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) as being part of the DPP's “pro-Taiwan independence” ideology.
During a recent interview, Ma argued that Chunghwa Post Co's name change was “illegal” because it had not been made through the proper legal channels. This gave rise to speculation that he might restore the company's original name.
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