Tue, Oct 03, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Politicians pressed on National Day invites

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Soldiers practice drills yesterday in Taipei in preparation for next Tuesday’s Double Ten National Day celebrations. Members of the Military Police Headquarters, the Tri-service Ceremonial Music Group and the Joint Special Forces Group are to take part in the ceremony.

Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times

Several high-level politicians yesterday were questioned about the absence of the Republic of China (ROC) title and flag from this year’s Double Ten National Day design, renewing debate on a decades-old political topic.

On the sidelines of a legislative committee meeting yesterday, Minister of Foreign Affairs David Lee (李大維) was asked to verify an assertion by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) that the National Day celebration invitations sent out by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration are void of any ROC symbols.

The KMT said the lack of the ROC title and flag in the invitations proved that the DPP is continuing its longtime efforts to eradicate the ROC — which some in the pan-green camp consider to be a government-in-exile — and to pursue Taiwanese independence.

“From a diplomatic point of view, safeguarding our national flag and official title means [safeguarding] our national dignity, since they are emblems of our sovereignty,” Lee said as he took out a copy of the invitation with the flag and title to refute the allegations.

The government would never instruct the nation’s overseas representative offices to not use the title and flag, Lee said, but added that some offices face restrictions on their use, hence their absence on some versions of the invitation.

“We all know it is the result of suppression from the other side of the Taiwan Strait. I hope the people of this nation do not have the cause and effect reversed,” he said.

KMT Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) yesterday said that since the purpose of the event is to celebrate the founding anniversary of the ROC, it should be a given that its emblem and flag be printed on the invitation, as in the past.

“This year’s situation is rather puzzling. President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration should make the necessary corrections as soon as possible,” Wu said.

Nevertheless, Wu, a former vice president, said he still plans to attend the celebration on Tuesday next week.

Former KMT chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) did not attend last year’s celebration to protest the DPP government’s ongoing efforts to recover assets illicitly obtained by the KMT during its one-party rule.

Earlier yesterday, Legislative Speaker Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全), who serves as chairman of the preparatory committee for the National Day celebrations, was also pressed on the issue at a news conference where the committee members unveiled this year’s design.

“Taiwan is a pluralistic society and we should refrain from limiting ourselves,” Su said, adding that fewer people fly the national flag over their homes today than they did in the past.

The public can rest assured that the event will be embellished with ROC flags on the day of the celebration, Su said, adding: “The flags are just not out yet.”

Additional reporting by CNA

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