Chunghwa Post a DPP pawn: KMT official

‘GREEN TERROR’::Hung Meng-kai accused the company of using the ROC flag to test local branches’ loyalty to the government in a bid to pander to the new premier

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Sat, Oct 07, 2017 - Page 3

State-owned Chunghwa Post Co has become “a pawn in the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration’s ongoing effort to remove Republic of China (ROC) symbols,” the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) said yesterday, accusing the postal firm of using ROC flags to test its local branches’ allegiance to the government.

At a press conference in Taipei yesterday, KMT Culture and Communications Committee deputy director Hung Meng-kai (洪孟楷) presented a copy of a document sent by Chunghwa Post headquarters on Sept. 12 instructing its local branches to evaluate whether the sub-branches in their administrative areas should continue flying the ROC flag based on their respective geological features, personnel situation and office environment.

The document even required the local branches to report their decision back to headquarters, Hung said, adding that the new policy was part of the DPP’s “green terror” campaign to assess local post offices’ loyalty to the government.

Green is the emblematic color of the DPP and the term “green terror” is an apparent reference to the nation’s 50-year White Terror era, when thousands of Taiwanese were arrested, imprisoned and executed under the KMT’s authoritarian rule.

Whether the ROC — which some members of the pan-green camp consider an exiled government — should remain a legitimate front representing Taiwan has been a contentious topic in the nation. Removal of the ROC system has been deemed by some as a necessary step in the normalization of the nation.

“Some local branches found the instruction baffling, while others were more than happy to comply, such as the Taichung Post, which has directed all sub-branches in the city to take down their ROC flags before the Double Ten National Day on Tuesday,” Hung said.

He said the document serves as further proof that the DPP administration is seeking to remove ROC symbols from this year’s National Day celebrations, which have come under attack for their lack of ROC title and flags.

As the instruction came only three days after Premier William Lai’s (賴清德) inauguration, the timing raised the question of whether the policy was an attempt to pander to the pro-independence new Cabinet head, Hung said.

Hung added that Chunghwa Post should abide by Article 10 of the National Emblem and National Flag of the ROC Act (中華民國國徽國旗法), which stipulates that government authorities, schools, organizations and military troops shall install a flag pole in a proper location and raise and lower the national flag every day.

Chunghwa Post issued a statement saying the instruction was made in response to recent public complaints of damaged ROC flags at some local sub-branches or their failure to hoist the flag as required.

To solve the problem, the company said it decided to only install a flag pole at its headquarters and 53 local branches that have staff on duty around the clock and on weekends.

“All Chunghwa Post staff ... love their country and national flag, and will continue to do so,” the company said, adding that ROC flags have been hung at all local post offices to create a festive ambience ahead of the National Day.