The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday criticized the “I am a R.O.C.er” T-shirt introduced by President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) re-election campaign office, saying it could mislead the international community as there are nations other than the Republic of China that use the acronym ROC.
Ma’s campaign office seems to have a national identity crisis, DPP spokesperson Liang Wen-jie (梁文傑) said, adding that according to the Ministry of the Foreign Affairs’ Web site, other countries such as the Republic of Croatia, Republic of Cameroon, Republic of Cuba, the Republic of Chile, Republic of Cyprus, Republic of Chad, and the Republic of Colombia, use the abbreviation ROC.
“When you wear [that] T-shirt, foreigners might ask which -country do you mean?” Liang said.
Saying that national identity is a simple issue to which one can simply answer “I am Taiwanese,” Liang said Ma’s campaign office shouldn’t employ gimmicks because the issue of national identity is not a game to be made light of.
Another DPP spokesperson, Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁), said that “the Ma government should not keep silent when others attempt to relegate us to a province of China and have the courage to say we are the ROC when attending the WHO. Now with the ‘I am a R.O.C.er’ T-shirt, it is just confusing people.”
If Ma’s campaign office really wanted to have such a T-shirt, it should print the ROC flag and inscribe on it words such as “Taiwan.” It would then be a straight-forward message and not one that seeks to obfuscate, he added.
In response, Ma’s campaign office spokesperson Lee Chia-fei (李佳霏) said the DPP’s various interpretations of ROC stemmed from DPP chairperson Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) comments that the ROC was a government-in-exile, adding that the DPP was creating a storm in a teacup.
“For young people in Taiwan, the ROC is Taiwan and Taiwan is the ROC, I am Taiwanese, I am a citizen of the ROC, I am also an ROCer, it’s a very natural and simple answer,” she said.
Instead of arguing for the sake of arguing, the DPP should ask Tsai, who is also the DPP’s presidential candidate, to detail her cross-strait policies and ideas for governing the nation, Lee added.
TRANSLATED BY JAKE CHUNG, STAFF WRITER
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