The Presidential Office drew sharp criticism from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) after it removed the Chinese characters for “Taiwan” from its Web site, but left the word “Taiwan” in the English version.
DPP legislative whip William Lai (賴清德) said on Wednesday the office owed the public an explanation regarding whether President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration would follow up the removal of the characters with any similar moves.
He said he would like to know whether the administration would do the same to all government agencies whose name contains the name “Taiwan.”
Lai said Ma’s inaugural speech, titled “People rise up, Taiwan reborn,” gave people the impression that Ma would engage in localization.
However, the Presidential Office removed “Taiwan” from its Chinese Web site before Ma had even finished his inaugural address, Lai said.
“How do they expect the people to rise up if there is no Taiwan?” he asked.
Lai said his caucus was even more worried that the English word “Taiwan” printed in parenthesis on the cover of the Republic of China passport would suffer the same fate.
Presidential Office Spokesman Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) said the reason the Chinese characters had been removed while the English wording was kept was that the international community tended to be more confused about the nation’s title, while Taiwanese were not.
It was not the first time they have adopted the approach, he said, adding that the same style had been used for the commemorative stamps for Ma’s inauguration.
Ma’s office had suggested postponing the launch of the stamps because the original design was controversial, using only the name “Taiwan” rather than the official national title, the Republic of China.
They later agreed to accept a new design bearing the wording “Republic of China (Taiwan),” a solution proposed by the state-run Taiwan Post Co to resolve the dispute of how the nation’s name should appear.