Thu, Nov 02, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Group calls for ROC calendar to be abolished, replaced

By Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter

The Republic of China (ROC) calendar should be abolished and replaced with the Gregorian calendar to date government documents as part of efforts to renounce the ROC and connect with the international community, Taiwanese independence campaigners said on Tuesday.

As Taiwan is the only nation that uses the ROC calendar, which is not internationally recognized, Premier William Lai (賴清德), who has openly voiced support for Taiwanese independence, should change the calendar system used for official documents, 908 Taiwan Republic Campaign convener Peter Wang (王獻極) said.

Doing so would connect Taiwan with the rest of the world and prevent confusion caused by dual calendar systems, he said.

“It is confusing to speak of the ’60s, because that could refer to either the 1960s or the 60s of the ROC calendar,” Wang said. “The saying ‘third-grader’ is also confusing.”

The idiomatic expression of “grader” refers to people born in a specific decade. Third-grader refers to people born in the ’30s, which could be either the 1930s or the 30s of the ROC calendar.

Official use of the Gregorian calendar can be authorized through an executive order without recourse to the legislative process, he said.

In an Oct. 17 letter to the Chinese Communist Party, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) dated the letter using the ROC calendar system, but omitted “ROC,” Wang said.

“Why does the Democratic Progressive Party [DPP] cling to the ROC when the KMT wants nothing of it?” he said.

The KMT has given up the ROC’s representation of “one China” with different interpretations of the so-called “1992 consensus,” he added.

The “1992 consensus,” a term former Mainland Affairs Council chairman Su Chi (蘇起) in 2006 admitted making up in 2000, refers to a tacit understanding between the KMT and the Chinese government that both sides of the Taiwan Strait acknowledge there is “one China,” with each side having its own interpretation of what “China” means.

Former KMT chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) championed a “one China, same interpretation” framework, while in 2015 then-president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) reiterated the “one China” part of the “1992 consensus” at a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) in Singapore, but did not stress the “different interpretations” portion, Wang said.

DPP Legislator Yeh Yi-jin (葉宜津) voiced support for switching to the Gregorian calendar, saying that such a move should not be associated with “desinicization,” because China also uses it.

“The proposal aims to connect Taiwan with the world, and even China, from a pragmatic point of view,” Yeh said.

Campaign office director Chilly Chen (陳峻涵) said that while the KMT uses the ROC calendar to retain legitimacy of governance over China as the legal foundation of the ROC, the world has recognized “one China” as referring only to the People’s Republic of China, so there is no need to insist on using the ROC calendar.

In 2003, then-vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) called for official adoption of the Gregorian calendar without results, and netizens have launched an online petition to ask the government to adopt the Gregorian calendar on official documents, Chen said, calling on the government to renounce the ROC calendar.

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