Wed, Jul 27, 2011 - Page 3 News List

Chen questions the validity of the term ROC in jail writings

By Vincent Y. Chao  /  Staff Reporter

“What is the Republic of China [ROC]?” was the question posed yesterday by former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) in the latest of his jailhouse writings.

Chen referred to remarks by his predecessors as evidence that doubts on the legitimacy of the term ROC continue to linger. His comments come shortly after the concept of being “Taiwanese” was raised as an issue by the ongoing presidential campaigns.

“Former president Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) once said on March 13, 1950 ... that ‘our Republic of China was destroyed when we lost the mainland at the end of last year,’” Chen wrote in a statement published by his office.

“And when former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) ... left office, he mentioned that ‘the Republic of China already no longer exists,’” added Chen, formerly a member of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). “I also proposed that Taiwan and China are two separate countries when I was in office.”

The official DPP position is that the ROC is the constitutional term for Taiwan, which is a sovereign country, and that Taiwan’s territorial claims do not extend to the People’s Republic of China.

Chen suggested in the statement, part of his biweekly “A-bian’s notes,” that both President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of the Chinese Nationaist Party (KMT) and DPP chairperson and presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) should clarify their comments on whether they thought of themselves as Taiwanese.

Following a DPP commercial that features Tsai saying “I am Taiwanese,” Ma wrote on his Facebook page that: “I am a descendant of the Yellow Emperor in blood and I identify with Taiwan in terms of my identity. In nationality, I am an ROC citizen and I am the president of the ROC.”

Chen said Ma’s comment — coupled with past remarks — have left many people confused and wanting to ask Ma one question: “Just where are you from?”

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