Sat, Dec 16, 2017 - Page 3 News List

AIT’s Moriarty clarifies his ‘desinification’ remarks

Staff writer, with CNA

American Institute in Taiwan Chairman James Moriarty, fourth left, is pictured together with Legislative Speaker Su Jia-chyuan, fifth left, and several legislators during Moriarty’s visit to the legislature in Taipei on Monday.

Photo: screen grab from Facebook

Visiting American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Chairman James Moriarty yesterday said that remarks he made to lawmakers in Taipei earlier this week about a new act introduced to address the legacy of the injustices perpetrated by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) in the authoritarian era had been misinterpreted.

Moriarty wanted to clarify the remarks he made during a closed-door meeting on Monday with Legislative Speaker Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) and several KMT and Democratic Progressive Party legislators, the AIT said.

One of the lawmakers present at the meeting told reporters that Moriarty, the top US official in charge of Taiwan policy, was concerned about how the Act on Promoting Transitional Justice (促進轉型正義條例), enacted by the legislature on Dec. 5, would be implemented and that it might cause “desinicization” problems.

The AIT yesterday told the Central News Agency via e-mail that Moriarty wanted to set the record straight about what he said regarding the act.

In a statement, Moriarty said that his remarks to legislators earlier this week about the act were “mischaracterized.”

“I did not express concern about the law. I did not criticize the passage or concept of the law,” Moriarty said.

“Rather, I noted that I have heard from Chinese academics, officials and others about something they call ‘desinification’ — which is as horrible-sounding in English as it is in Chinese — and I simply asked the legislators if this issue was considered during the Legislative Yuan debate about the Transitional Justice Act [sic],” he said.

Moriarty arrived in Taiwan on Sunday for a week-long visit that ends today.

It is his third trip to the nation since his appointment as AIT chairman in October last year.

The Act on Promoting Transitional Justice stipulates that the Executive Yuan should establish an ad hoc committee to implement the transitional justice measures set forth under the act.

The measures include publishing political archives, removing authoritarian symbols and reversing miscarriages of justice during the authoritarian era.

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