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Name change can't alter island's status
Fang ZhouChina Daily  Updated: 2005-01-25 08:50

The Taiwan authorities have once again launched a new round of "name rectification" campaigns to detach the island even further from China.

Taiwan's "ministry of education" has issued an urgent document to several Taiwanese universities and colleges who have the word "China" or "Chinese" in their titles, asking them to come up with specific programmes and timetables for their name change before last Thursday.

The move is apparently being done to make more evident the island's local character. This is the Taiwan authority's latest move to separate the island from China culturally and ideologically.

Late last year, Taiwan "president" Chen Shui-bian said the government would change the names of government agencies, including overseas representative offices and embassies, and state-owned businesses to "Taiwan" from "Republic of China" (ROK) within two years. Earlier, other high-level Taiwanese officials, including "vice- president" Annette Lu, said on different occasions that the names of the island's bodies should be changed to "Taiwan."

As part of the Taiwan authorities' "name rectification" campaign, the island's "defence ministry" decided not to use China-related code names for its command posts from January 1, which made the "ministry" the first government body to comply with a plan to remove all references to China from government institutions.

The Taiwan authorities have denied many times that such a move is to seek greater separation from China, but it has constituted an organized and systematic conspiracy of eliminating any signs from the island that may possibly remind local people that the island is part of China.

It is one of Chen Shui-bian's ruling Democratic Progressive Party's ultimate goals to separate Taiwan from China and realize an independent Taiwan state.

Pro-independence Chen has made every effort to achieve this since he came to power. Internationally, he has never given up attempts to push the island into international organizations which only comprise sovereign countries. Internally, he has laid down a specific timetable for "Taiwan independence."

Using this kind of strategy, Chen has occasionally encouraged Taiwan business people to do more business with Southeast Asian countries instead of the Chinese mainland, and tried to prevent the realization of direct trade, transport and postal links between the island and the mainland.

He has continuously strengthened Taiwan's island identity in an attempt to hammer it home to Taiwan compatriots that they are Taiwanese, not Chinese.

But Chen and his like will not succeed whatever they do or use to split Taiwan from China.

As part of Chinese territory since ancient times, the island and its people have a blood relationship with the Chinese mainland and the Chinese people.

The name Taiwan and its affiliated bodies may be changed with efforts by Chen and his like, but that does not mean the island's status will be changed.

Beijing has expressed its determination to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity at any cost. Its anti-secession law, which is in the process of being made, will provide a legal weapon for it to crush any attempt to separate Taiwan from China.

The United States has also clearly expressed its opposition to Taiwan authorities' "name rectification" campaign.

What the Taiwan authorities should do now is to improve exchanges and co-operation between the mainland and the island, to serve the fundamental interests of the Chinese people on both sides of the Straits, but not attempt to isolate the island's people from their compatriots across the Straits.

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