Taiwan: It’s All in the Name
A resolution has been passed within Taiwan’s ruling party to push for a referendum on the island’s official name, a highly sensitive point as it would upset the status quo, with the current ‘Republic of China’ appeasing the Mainland, and US, ‘One China’ policy.
Below is an article by Peter Enav for
Taiwan's ruling party passed a resolution Sunday [30 Septmeber 2007] asserting the island's separate identity and calling for a referendum on its sovereignty, but failed to put any real force behind it, apparently out of fear of provoking rival China.
The resolution-passed after a heated debate at a boisterous party congress-was the latest in a series of steps taken in the waning months of President Chen Shui-bian's final term aimed at strengthening
Nearly 60 years after splitting amid civil war,
Sunday's [30 September 2007] DPP resolution calls for holding a referendum on
"We should rectify our name to
But in not demanding the jettisoning of the current official title of the "Republic of China," and offering no timetable for the enactment of the constitution or the holding of the referendum, it appears to lack teeth.
The Republic of China name connotes fealty to the "one
Many in the DPP fear that an clear-cut push for independence would hurt the chances of candidate Frank Hsieh in next March's  presidential elections, particularly among the broad swathe of moderate voters.
But for DPP hard-liners, that kind of moderation holds little attraction. Yu Shyi-kun resigned as DPP chairman last Thursday [27 September 2007] after his own proposed resolution language, calling for formalizing independence, was overridden in a preparatory meeting.
At Sunday's [30 September 2007] party congress several delegates held protest signs saying "The Brave Admit No Fear", as Yu's version garnered only 73 votes among the 320 participants.
The adoption of the more moderate DPP resolution follows Chen's unsuccessful campaign this year to try to rejoin the United Nations under the name of
Chen has also pushed to hold a referendum to back the government's U.N. bid to coincide with the presidential election, a move denounced both by