Sat, Jan 10, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Kaoliang company defends changes to ‘Chinese’ bottle

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

Kinmen Kaoliang Liquor Inc said on Thursday “business considerations” had prompted the company to make changes to the label of a commemorative liquor bottle marking the inauguration of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Vice President Vincent Siew (蕭萬長) so that the product could be sold in China.

Company chairman Lee ­Ching-cheng (李清正) said the words “Republic of China (ROC)” and “president and vice president” were removed from the label as an attempt at “putting aside disputes and achieving a win-win situation.”

He was referring to the release of the company’s commemorative edition kaoliang liquor marking the Ma-Siew inauguration on May 20 last year. China has approved the commemorative bottle for sale in 16 provinces and cities around the Lunar New Year.

The bottles to be sold in China will bear the words, “the commemorative liquor of the inauguration of Ma Ying-jeou and Vincent Siew,” instead of “the commemorative liquor of Republic of China President Ma Ying-jeou and Vice President Vincent Siew.”

Lee said that despite the changes, the pictures of Ma and Siew together and the background of the Presidential Office on the bottle meant that “anyone can easily see that they are president and vice president of the ROC.”

Lee said 1,000 of the commemorative bottles were to be sold in China, although the number could later be increased to 5,000, and would be priced at 5,000 yuan (about US$127), surpassing the previous highest price of 4,888 yuan for Kinmen kaoliang.

The price is almost seven times as high as the NT$3,600 the bottles fetch in Taiwan.

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