Sat, Dec 08, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Representative to Germany defends new ‘Taiwan’ logo

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Representative to Germany Shieh Jhy-wey (謝志偉) yesterday defended the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ decision to introduce a more Taiwan-centric visual style for its overseas representative offices, urging the public to stop “demonizing” the use of the term “Taiwan.”

Shieh said incorporating the term “Taiwan” in a logo for use on embassies’ and representative offices’ Facebook pages was an “extremely normal decision” that brings people “closer to reality and helps with identification.”

The new policy has met criticism from the pan-blue camp, with some saying that it reeks of independence advocacy, while the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) said the ministry is pandering to the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) ideology and trying to erase memory of the Republic of China (ROC).

“In May 2005, when I was first posted to Germany as a representative, the title on my business card read Repraesentant von Taiwan [Representative of Taiwan]. KMT lawmakers at the time made an unprecedented move and demanded my presence at the legislature to explain why I used ‘Taiwan’ instead of ‘ROC,’” Shieh said on Facebook.

He said he told lawmakers that the German government recognizes the People’s Republic of China (PRC) as the sole representative of China and that only one of every 100 Germans are aware that the ROC does not mean “China” as they know it.

“If I use Taiwanese taxpayer money to conduct diplomacy for the ‘ROC,’ that would be tantamount to betraying Taiwan, because I would be creating free publicity for ‘China,’” said Shieh, who served as minister of the now-defunct Government Information Office under then-president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) administration between 2007 and 2008.

Shieh said he had spoken with a German politician born in East Germany, who said that the so-called “1992 consensus” and the principle of “one China, with different interpretations” are merely slogans that help the PRC annex Taiwan.

During the Martial Law era, anyone who criticized the former authoritarian KMT regime would be branded a pro-independence advocate, Shieh said.

“If doing something as natural as calling [our country] Taiwan now constitutes engaging in pro-independence movements. Then let’s just du it,” he said.

The Mandarin character du (獨, independence) is a homophone of the English term “do.”

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