The Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) yesterday at a news conference called for replacing the national anthem.
The current national anthem was based on the words of Republic of China (ROC) founder Sun Yat-sen (孫逸仙) in 1924 for use by the ROC Military Academy (then known as the Whampoa Military Academy), and was later adopted by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) as its party song, TSU Chairman Lau I-te (劉一德) said.
The song was then adopted as the ROC national anthem by an executive order in 1930, he said.
“Singing this anthem is enough to make people crazy. [President] Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has been in office for five years now — it is ridiculous that we are still singing this anthem,” he said.
Taiwan New Constitution Foundation executive director Lin Yi-cheng (林宜正) and Taiwan Society chairman Chang Yeh-shen (張葉森) also attended the new conference.
Liu said the group was planning 15 to 20 more conferences nationwide in the coming months.
The inseparability of the anthem from the KMT is evident in its opening lines: “Three principles of the people, the foundation of our party. Through this, we establish the republic,” he said.
“Not all Taiwanese are members of the KMT, but we all have to sing along. That is quite strange,” he added.
During the administration of former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), the Democratic Progressive Party lacked a legislative majority, and thus was unable to change the anthem, but this is no longer the case under the current administration, he said, urging Tsai to take action.
Lin said he had not sung the national anthem since learning about its origins in high school, and that he, like many other Taiwanese, had no emotional connection to the anthem.
The anthem was adopted by a non-democratic government 83 years ago and is out of touch with modern-day Taiwan, which has experienced 30 years of democratization, he said, adding that 83 percent of Taiwanese see themselves as “Taiwanese,” and not “Chinese.”
“Do not underestimate the importance of a national anthem’s development. Look at France’s La Marseillaise and the US’ Star Spangled Banner — those anthems can rouse emotions,” he said.
Maintaining the “status quo” in the Taiwan Strait should be only an interim solution, he said, adding that a new national anthem could better represent Taiwanese.
Chang said the current national anthem is “disgraceful” and has caused a rift among Taiwanese.
“Even the president refuses to utter the line ‘the foundation of our party’ when singing the anthem. Taiwanese need an anthem they can proudly sing,” he said.
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