Tue, Jun 28, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Tsai’s title choice in Panama riles Hau

SEMANTICS?Hau Lung-bin said it was ironic that at a time when just over 20 nations recognize the ROC, Tsai belittled the nation’s official title during a visit to an ally

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Vice Chairman Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday accused President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) of “belittling the official title” of the nation by describing herself as the “President of Taiwan” during her first overseas state visit.

“The Republic of China, abbreviated as ROC, is the title of our nation. It is the official national title under which we have repeatedly endeavored to seek global recognition,” the fomer Taipei mayor wrote on Facebook.

Hau posted a photograph of the message Tsai left in a visitor’s book after touring the sluice gates of the expanded Panama Canal on Sunday, in which she wrote: “Witnessing the centennial achievement, jointly creating future prosperity,” and identifying herself as “President of Taiwan [ROC].”

Tsai is on a nine-day trip to Panama and Paraguay that includes two transit stops in the US. She stopped in Miami, Florida, on Saturday on her way to Panama and she is to stop in Los Angeles on her return home.

Hau said that before the Jan. 16 presidential elections, Tsai had said on multiple occasions that she was running for “president of the ROC.”

“However, when Tsai, who is president of the ROC, travels overseas to one of the nation’s diplomatic allies, the ROC becomes merely a side note in parentheses,” Hau wrote.

It is ironic that at a time when just over 20 nations recognize the ROC, “our own president belittles the nation’s official title while standing on the soil of one of the nation’s diplomatic allies,” Hau said.

“We all identify with the island of Taiwan and recognize ourselves as Taiwanese, but that does not mean we should forsake or belittle our national title. Besides, for our president to take the lead in doing so overseas is something I cannot accept,” Hau said.

KMT Legislator Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安), a great-grandson of former president Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石), on Sunday also took issue with Tsai’s message in the visitors’ book, criticizing it as “extremely inappropriate.”

He told TVBS that such a message could spark an outpouring of controversy and that it would be more appropriate for Tsai to use her “official title” when writing an inscription for someone or leaving similar messages.

However, the KMT lawmaker’s remarks drew a sharp retort on Facebook from New Power Party Legislator Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明), who late on Sunday vented his discontent, posting: “Is it really that humiliating and difficult for the descendants of the Chiang family to utter the word Taiwan?”

Accusing the KMT of acting schizophrenically, Hsu said that the KMT had lambasted Minister of Health and Welfare Lin Tzou-yien (林奏延) for not mentioning “Taiwan” in his speech at the World Health Assembly last month, yet the party has problems with Tsai describing herself as “president of Taiwan.”

“If Chiang Wan-an thinks it is extremely inappropriate for Tsai to describe herself as ‘president of Taiwan,’ does it mean the only befitting title for the president is ‘leader of the ROC, Taiwan area’ because it conforms to the ‘one China’ principle?” Hsu wrote.

He said that the KMT and its members should refrain from unreasonable invectives.

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