Petition to ban China flag in public passes threshold

Online petition to ban Chinese flag in public places in Taiwan has passed the threshold to require a response from government

Pro-China rally in Taipei's Ximending. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- An online campaign by Taiwanese netizens to ban the flag of China, also known as the Five-star Red Flag, from being displayed in public spaces in Taiwan has surpassed the 5,000 signature threshold, announced the National Development Council (NDC) on Thursday, reported CNA

In the online petition, which had received over 7,321 signatures at the time of publication, netizens requested that a new law be put in place to ban the "hanging, exhibiting, and displaying China's Five-star Red Flag in public."

Reasons listed for the petition include China's refusal to accept Taiwan's status as a sovereign independent country, its constant efforts to unify Taiwan with China, it's endless military threats, and the increasing frequency with which the Chinese flag has appeared in public areas in Taiwan to condition Taiwanese people into accepting unification.

 NDC official Pan Kuo-tsai (潘國才) said to CNA that the petition to ban the Chinese flag in public places has been passed on to the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) which will hold a meeting on the subject and try to prepare a response by next week. 

Proposed change and rationale:

"Taiwan and China have always had hostile relations and China has never recognized and accepted that Taiwan is sovereign independent country. It has never given up on various ways to divide and split Taiwan. It has the sole goal of unification with Taiwan has had to bear the brunt of endless threats of military action, but there has been very little in the way of positive action. Over the past 10 years China activities in Taiwan have increased and its Five-star Red Flag has become a more and more common sight in various places in Taiwan. The emergence of the Five-star Red Flag throughout Taiwan has desensitized Taiwanese people to the threat, and thus has had the effect of helping China take a step forward toward unification. Therefore, it is proposed that a provision banning the hanging, exhibiting, and displaying China's Five-star Red Flag in public be added to the criminal law prohibiting the stoking of divisions and civil strife in the country."

Last week, a petition to change Taiwan's time zone to that of Japan and South Korea instead of China obtained enough signatures to earn a response from the government. Pan said that the Ministry of the Interior would coordinate with the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) and the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) on formulating a response to the time zone change petition. 

As of 2015, petitions posted on the online portal, “Join,” accessible at ( https://join.gov.tw ), that exceed 5,000 signatures, must receive a response by the government within 60 days. In the case, the petition to change the time zone exceeded 5,000 signatures on October 19, therefore the government must formally respond by Dec. 19. To date, the site has received 2,233 petitions, of which 89 have been acted on, which represents a success rate of 7.1 percent. 


Chinese flags posted by pro-China supporters in Ximending. (YouTube user hulan)