President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday told the Tourism Bureau to remove the simplified Chinese version from its Web site, saying all government agencies should use traditional Chinese characters in official documents and on the Internet.
The president’s instructions came in the wake of a dispute over the use of simplified characters to cater to an expected influx of Chinese free independent travelers (FITs).
The Tourism Bureau had provided simplified Chinese among other languages on its Web site. The simplified Chinese version was removed yesterday morning.
“To maintain our role as the pioneer in Chinese culture, all government bodies should use traditional Chinese in official documents and on their Web sites, so that people around the world can learn about the beauty of traditional characters,” Presidential Office spokesman Fan Chiang Tai-chi (范姜泰基) quoted Ma as saying.
On Tuesday, the Executive Yuan urged retailers and other businesses to refrain from replacing traditional characters with simplified characters in product descriptions or on menus to cater to FITs.
Opening Taiwan to FITs is the latest move by Taiwan and China to enhance cross-strait exchanges. On Sunday, Chinese National Tourism Administration Chairman Shao Qiwei (邵琪偉) announced that the program would start on June 28 and would initially be open to residents of Beijing, Shanghai and Xiamen.
China’s unilateral announcement of an official launch date caught Taiwan by surprise. On Monday, Mainland Affairs Council Deputy Minister Liu Te-shun (劉德勳) said work still needed to be done, adding that if everything proceeded smoothly, FITs would be able to visit before June 28.
Fan Chiang yesterday repeated the Executive Yuan’s call for businesses to stick to traditional characters, saying Taiwan has opened its doors to Chinese tourists for three years and most have no trouble reading traditional characters.
“Chinese tourists come to Taiwan to experience the different culture and traditions here, and we should not take this experience away from them,” Fan Chiang said.
SWITCH TO BEIJING: The government severed diplomatic relations about an hour after Honduras announced the move, saying that no semi-official ties would be maintained Taiwan severed diplomatic ties with Honduras and ended all cooperation with the Central American country, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday, about an hour and a half after the Honduran Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Twitter at 8am Taiwan time that the nation would cut its ties with Taiwan. Honduran President Xiomara Castro on Wednesday sent Honduran Minister of Foreign Affairs Eduardo Enrique Reina to Beijing to negotiate the establishment of diplomatic relations. She announced the plan on March 14 on Twitter. “To safeguard Taiwan’s sovereignty and dignity, Taiwan is terminating diplomatic ties with Honduras with immediate effect” after communication with
TRADE MISSION: After Fijian elections in December last year, pro-democratic parties formed a coalition and overruled a name change imposed by the former government The Taipei Trade Office in Fiji has been restored to its former name, the Trade Mission of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to the Republic of Fiji, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. Fiji on Friday last week issued a note verbale to the office saying that the name change was retroactively effective from March 15, Department of East Asian and Pacific Affairs Director-General Wallace Chow (周民淦) told a news conference in Taipei. The mission’s diplomatic privileges have been reinstated as stipulated in Fiji’s Diplomatic Privileges and Immunities Act, which was enacted in 1971, Chow said. Taiwan set up a trade
Former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday departed for a 12-day trip to China as scheduled, despite calls for him to cancel the trip after Honduras severed diplomatic ties with Taiwan as an apparent result of China’s dollar diplomacy. “This is my first trip to China. I was 37 when I began handling cross-strait affairs in the government. Now I am 73 and have waited 36 years for the visit. It is indeed a bit too long, but I am glad I can go,” Ma of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) told reporters at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport. “Aside from paying respects to
‘INDISPENSABLE ROLE’: Despite stopovers in the US, Tsai said the aim of her trip is to ‘demonstrate determination to deepen exchanges’ with the allies of the nation President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday afternoon left Taiwan on a 10-day trip to Central America that includes stopovers in New York and Los Angeles. “Through this visit, I will express my gratitude to diplomatic partners for their support of Taiwan,” Tsai said at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport shortly before boarding the plane. The trip to Guatemala and Belize — her first overseas journey since the COVID-19 pandemic began sweeping around the world in early 2020 — aims to “demonstrate Taiwan’s determination to deepen exchanges” with its Central American allies, she said. Tsai said that she and her delegation would also explore the possibility