Mon, Jan 05, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Academics call for a new constitution

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Panelists take notes as Professor Hsu Ching-hsiung of Tamkang University’s Graduate Institute of Japan Studies addresses a forum on Taiwan’s national identity at the National Taiwan University College of Law and Commerce in Taipei yesterday.


Several pro-independence academics said yesterday that Taiwan should join the UN under the name “Taiwan” and should write a new constitution to secure the independence of the country.

“It is so sad that as Taiwanese in 2009 we are still discussing the issue of Taiwan’s national identity and worrying whether Taiwan will be sold out to China,” National Taiwan University’s College of Law honorary professor Lee Hong-hsi (李鴻禧) said at a forum organized by the pro-independence Taiwan Association of University Professors titled The Positioning of Taiwan’s National Identity.

Lee said Taiwan should abolish its official title of “Republic of China” and adopt a new constitution that would secure Taiwan as an independent country.

Since the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government returned to power on May 20, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and pro-independence groups have criticized the KMT administration for opening Taiwan’s doors wider to transport, commercial and postal cross-Taiwan Strait exchanges, claiming that such policies come at the expense of Taiwan’s national security and sovereignty.

At the forum, Taiwan’s former representative to Japan Koh Se-kai (許世楷) said that the key to why Taiwan cannot declare independence is because most people still do not realize that the “ROC represents a government, not a country.”

If Taiwan wants to become a real country, it has to declare independence to the international community and apply to join the UN as a new country, he said.

Koh said the application in the 2007 to join the UN under the name “Taiwan” during then-president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) second term was a good approach that allowed the international community to realize that Taiwan is not related to China.

The KMT not only ended this approach last year, but also stopped applying to join the UN, he said.

Taiwan Association of University Professors chairman Tsay Ting-kuei (蔡丁貴) told the forum that despite the current circumstances, pro-Taiwan independence groups and many Taiwanese would continue work to consolidate awareness of Taiwanese identity.

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