ROC flag a consensus among Taiwanese: DPP official

The official designation of Taiwan, the Republic of China (ROC), and the ROC flag are highly symbolic for people in Taiwan, and there is a broad consensus on the national flag, a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) official said here on Tuesday.

Speaking after an appearance at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, DPP Secretary-General Joseph Wu warned against any bullying by other countries on the ROC flag or Taiwan's official designation.

He said such actions would negatively affect the development of cross-Taiwan Strait relations and further fuel the misgivings among Taiwanese about bilateral ties and how the Chinese government is handling them.

Wu's comment came in response to reporters' questions on whether safeguarding the ROC national flag has become a consensus among Taiwanese following a controversy involving a teenage Taiwanese K-pop star who was forced to apologize publicly after being accused of promoting Taiwan independence by waving the ROC flag on Korean TV.

The pro-independence accusations by a China-based Taiwanese singer led a Chinese smartphone company to cancel an endorsement deal with the teenagers' group Twice, and the singer Chou Tzu-yu, was forced by the group's management company to say she was "Chinese" in a recorded apology.

The video, released just hours before Taiwan's national elections on Jan. 16, triggered anger among Taiwan's people and may have had some influence on turnout and the way people voted.

Wu said the incident was unfortunate and the criticism was harsh, but "the Chinese government should reflect on the situation and see it in a positive light when Taiwan's people identify with their country. Only in doing so can China promote positive ties across the strait."

He also touched on the issue related to the transfer of power in Taiwan before DPP President-elect Tsai Ing-wen assumes office on May 20.

According to Wu, he has talked twice over the phone with Presidential Secretary-General Tseng Yung-chuan regarding the matter and will soon focus on it to secure a smooth transition process.

(By Rita Cheng and Flor Wang)
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