Pro-independence groups are to launch a cooperation platform next year to provide momentum to the independence movement, which they said has been slighted by President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), who has vowed to maintain the cross-strait “status quo.”
Peter Wang (王獻極), convener of the 908 Taiwan Republic Campaign, said he and Taiwan People News chairman Chen Yung-hsing (陳永興) are organizing a pro-independence platform, which is to be launched with the participation of dozens of pro-localization groups, to pressure the Tsai administration and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) on issues pertaining to Taiwanese independence.
“The Tsai administration has not responded to public calls to reject the so-called ‘1992 consensus’ and having Taiwan represented by an appropriate name in international events,” Wang said.
The “1992 consensus” refers to a tacit understanding between the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Chinese Communist Party that both sides of the Taiwan Strait acknowledge there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means. Former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) in 2006 admitted he made up the term in 2000.
“Although pro-independence groups and the DPP government share the same view on the development of Taiwan, there is no burden on pro-independence groups to speed up the goal [of achieving independence], while the Tsai administration, due to the responsibility it carries, has to be slow,” he said.
The platform will lay the groundwork for the government to launch pro-localization policies, he said.
Wang started a campaign in 2002 to promote the use of “Taiwan” and drop the term “Chinese Taipei” in international and domestic events, which did not gain traction until the second year of campaigning, when it collected 200,000 signatures and won the support of former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁).
The campaign succeeded in having Taipei’s Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall renamed to Liberty Square; the state-run oil refiner then known as Chinese Petroleum Corp rebranded as CPC Corp, Taiwan; and Chunghwa Post renamed to Taiwan Post, as well as the introduction of a new passport with the word “Taiwan” in Roman script on the cover.
“The voice of the public has to be united in a common cause to be heard by the government,” Wang said.
The initial consensus reached by the prospective platform members includes lowering referendum thresholds and halting the use of “Chinese Taipei” for Taiwanese organizations participating in international events, he added.
Ketagalan Institute president Chin Heng-wei (金恆煒) is to spearhead a plan to seek amendments to the Referendum Act (公民投票法) to pave the way for broader public discussion on national issues not limited to independence topics, Wang said.
While the groups’ priorities vary, with some advocating a proposal for a UN membership and others independence, lowering the threshold for referendums is one area that they all agree on, he added.
The campaign to promote the use of “Taiwan” instead of “Chinese Taipei” by national teams in international competitions, particularly the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, is to be renewed, Wang said.
The platform will also collaborate with the DPP, the Taiwan Solidarity Union and the New Power Party to campaign for different causes, he added.
The Council of Agriculture yesterday signed a Taiwan-Australia Agricultural Cooperation Implementation clause to open a new export market for the nation’s pineapple crop. The clause is an addition to existing cooperation measures, it said. China on Friday last week abruptly announced that it would suspend pineapple imports from Taiwan starting on Monday, on grounds that it had on multiple occasions discovered “harmful organisms” in shipments of the fruit. The public and private sectors have since joined hands to purchase the local fruit to help the nation’s pineapple farmers. Canberra has requested that all pineapples for export to Australia have their crown buds removed,
Shanghai Fosun Pharmaceutical Group might have lost its right to distribute the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for COVID-19 and the ability to fulfill a contract in Taiwan, civic groups Taiwan Citizen Front and the Economic Democracy Union said yesterday. In a radio interview on Feb. 17, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), head of the Central Epidemic Command Center, said that last year, Taiwan was close to signing a contract to buy doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, but that the deal was halted at the last moment, with some speculating that Chinese interference was to blame. On Monday last week, the center
A Tainan taxi driver is the Taiwanese with the longest name, after he last month changed it so that it now contains 25 characters, the Anping District Household Registration Office said. The 47-year-old man, formerly known as Huang Hsin-hsiang (黃鑫翔), applied for the name change on Feb. 26, in the hope that it would bring him good luck. His new name starts with Huang Da-lan (黃大嵐) and adds another 22 characters, meaning “Huang Da-lan is the blessed darling and sweetheart of the god of joy, god of wealth, god of misfortune, god of Earth and all the gods,” it said. With
Broadcasting Corp of China chairman Jaw Shaw-kong (趙少康) yesterday said that the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) “should not follow the Democratic Progressive Party’s [DPP] direction,” after KMT Chairman Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) had said that China posed a threat to Taiwan. Chiang was quoted by Reuters as saying during an interview that China’s “one country, two systems” formula for an unification with Taiwan “has no market” in the nation. Chiang also described China as the major threat to Taiwan, Reuters reported. Jaw, who has expressed interest in running for KMT chairman this year and in the 2024 presidential election, wrote on Facebook that