Taiwan textbook revision slammed

By Li Fangchao (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-02-01 07:33

Beijing yesterday denounced Taipei's attempt to promote "Taiwan independence" by revising the island's high-school history textbooks.

On instructions from Taiwan's "ministry of education", terms like "our country," "this country" and "the mainland" in the textbooks have been changed to "China".

"We've noticed the developments. The political motive behind it is to transform the island's education into an ideological tool for 'Taiwan independence'," Yang Yi, spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, told a regular briefing.

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"Taiwan is an inseparable part of China. No matter what tricks the secessionist forces play, they cannot change the fact."

Yang also condemned Taiwan's "national palace museum" for removing all the labels that identify half a million exhibits as originating from the Chinese mainland, calling it a "despicable act".

A resolution was adopted by Taiwan's "Executive Yuan" on January 17, barring the museum from identifying its exhibits as transported from the Imperial Palace in Beijing.

Under the resolution, the task of the museum will be "the collection, study and expatiation of 'domestic and foreign' antiques and art pieces", instead of "the collection, study and expatiation of ancient Chinese art".

First opened in 1965, the museum in Taipei houses 654,500 art works and artifacts that were shipped from Beijing to Taiwan in 1949 when the Nationalists retreated to the island during a civil war.

Mainland scholars have condemned the change, saying the revised regulation ignores historic fact and is just another attempt to cut Taiwan's links to the mainland. "Regulations can be changed, but history cannot," said Liang Jinsheng, a researcher at the Palace Museum in Beijing.

In reponse to reports about the possible visit of senior Kuomintang official Wang Jin-pyng to the mainland after the Chinese Lunar New Year, Yang said: "We are willing to communicate with any individual or group from Taiwan, as long as they uphold the one-China principle and acknowledge the '1992 consensus'."

According to the consensus, both sides of the Straits agree that there is only one China in the world despite their different interpretation of the political meaning of "one China".

Taiwan media have reported that Wang, who is the "president" of the "Legislative Yuan" of Taiwan, may visit his ancestral home in East China's Fujian Province this year.

Yang also said the mainland "had noticed" media reports that the former pro-independence leader of the island, Lee Tung-hui, is looking forward to visiting the mainland.

He refused to elaborate on the mainland's stance towards Lee's plan.

Xinhua contributed to the story

(China Daily 02/01/2007 page1)

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