Taiwan rejects proposal for referendum to ban Chinese flag

Proponent failed to offer clarifications by deadline

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The Chinese flag (left) at a protest in front of Taiwan's Presidential Office Building, with Taiwan's flag on the right.

The Chinese flag (left) at a protest in front of Taiwan's Presidential Office Building, with Taiwan's flag on the right. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - The Central Election Commission (CEC) on Tuesday rejected the proposal to hold a referendum on banning the Chinese flag after the proponent failed to come up with added information by the August 3 deadline.

At a previous meeting on July 31, the CEC had approved the flag referendum proposal, but it had asked for clarification from the proponent on details, such as whether the Chinese flag should also be banned from international sports events in Taiwan, the Central News Agency reported.

However, no reply came by the August 3 deadline, giving the CEC no choice but to reject the proposal altogether.

As China has waged a relentless campaign to ban flags, emblems and even the name of Taiwan in order to underline its claims of sovereignty over the self-ruled island, many people in Taiwan have felt that it should strike back and ban public displays of China’s five-star flag, which can be seen mainly at events by small pro-unification groups.

The referendum question would have asked “do you agree or not that there should be legislation banning the public display or hanging out of the five-star flag representing the People’s Republic of China?”

At its Tuesday meeting, the CEC did approve proposals for referenda about the legalization of euthanasia and about the launch of the controversial fourth nuclear plant, though most plebiscites will still need signature campaigns before they can eventually take place. Since changes to the Referendum Act, the CEC has been deluged with a wide range of proposals on topics ranging from the use of the name ‘Taiwan’ instead of ‘Chinese Taipei’ at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics to the ban on food imports from areas of Japan affected by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.