Thu, Jun 11, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Anger rises over Ma's statement on Chinese text

By Ko Shu-ling and Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTERS

However, he dismissed the DPP's criticism that Ma's proposal was meant to promote unification with China.

“The president is hoping that Chinese would gain a better understanding of traditional culture,” Lu said. “This is a very good suggestion and will enhance everyone's understanding of Chinese characters.”

Cabinet Spokesman Su Jun-pin (蘇俊賓) said yesterday that the Executive Yuan was not aware that traditional Chinese characters would be replaced with simplified Chinese, adding that the administration does not have a policy in place to make the changes.

Traditional Chinese characters are an important asset to preserve the nation's cultural heritage and the government values this advantage, Su said.

Asked for comment, Chang Hsiao-feng (張曉風), a renowned writer who in recent years has been promoting Chinese writing, said she thought it was unnecessary to require people to write in simplified Chinese.

Meanwhile, the Presidential Office defended Ma, saying his proposal was targeted at Chinese, who he thought should be able to read traditional Chinese characters in addition to writing in simplified Chinese.

The Presidential Office issued a statement saying Ma hoped to see Chinese read traditional Chinese so they could appreciate this unique feature of Chinese culture and see traditional Chinese characters in print form.

It is unnecessary to promote traditional Chinese in Taiwan because all Taiwanese read traditional Chinese, the statement said, nor was it necessary to teach simplified Chinese here, although the government would not ban people from using simplified Chinese, the statement said.


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