Members of the Taiwan Action Party Alliance and the Formosa Alliance yesterday rallied in Taipei to demand that the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) give people the choice of using either “Taiwan” or “Republic of China” on new national identification cards.
The groups also protested against the implementation of digital features through an embedded chip, saying that they pose a risk of personal data leaks and that there are questions over a subcontractor’s connections to China.
About 50 people from the pro-Taiwanese independence groups started the rally in front of the DPP’s headquarters before marching to the Ministry of the Interior, where they again highlighted their concerns and handed a petition to a ministry official.
The groups’ concerns received a significant boost in attention after former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) said that people should be given the choice to have only “Taiwan” or “Republic of China” on their new identity cards, which are to be issued in April or May next year.
“We cannot accept that the new identity cards display the name ‘Republic of China,’ because we are Taiwanese, not Chinese, and Taiwan is not a part of China,” Taiwan Action Party Alliance spokesman Tsan Hsiang-wei (詹祥威) said.
“Our party and many independence advocates are angry at the DPP and President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文),” Tsan said.
“We supported them with our ballots in the hope of seeing the birth of a sovereign, independent nation called Taiwan, but the DPP and Tsai have deceived us, as they have upheld the Republic of China by denying the existence of Taiwan and have prohibited the use of Taiwan as the nation’s name,” he said.
Attorney Chiu Yi-feng (邱一峰), a member of the Formosa Alliance’s executive committee, said that most people want to have only “Taiwan” on the new identity cards, because otherwise, when traveling abroad, foreign officials would get confused by thinking that “Republic of China” means being Chinese, a situation he has encountered before.
“We also reject the use of the embedded chip, as reports have shown that the Central Engraving and Printing Plant subcontracted the design of the chip to a foreign firm, which allegedly has business connections with China,” Chiu said.
Besides the potential for the government to monitor people’s movements and actions through the embedded chip, it is also possible for people’s personal data to be leaked to firms in China due to a lack of control and due diligence by subcontractors, Chiu added.
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