KMT legislator protests proposal to amend Taiwan law concerning Sun Yat-sen

Two DPP legislators have proposed to remove law requiring Sun Yat-sen's portrait in all governmental, public buildings

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Portrait of Sun Yat-sen.

Portrait of Sun Yat-sen. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — In response to Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislators Fan Yun (范雲) and Chuang Jui-hsiung’s recent proposal to nix the requirement that the portrait of Sun Yat-sen (孫中山) be hung in governmental buildings, Kuomintang (KMT) Legislator Chen I-hsin (陳以信) on Sunday (Sept. 20) said that removing the image of Sun is a salami-slicing tactic aimed to erase the existence of the Republic of China.

Fan and Chuang stated that they believe since the national flag is a symbol that already hangs in auditoriums, governmental buildings, schools, and military facilities, it is already possible to demonstrate the country’s sovereignty and consolidate national identity. It is no longer necessary to hang portraits of specific political leaders from the past, they said.

The current National Emblem and National Flag of the Republic of China Act stipulate that “Government authorities, schools, organizations, and military troops shall hang the national flag above a portrait of Dr. Sun Yat-sen.” Fan and Chuang’s proposed draft amendment removes the portrait of Sun and retains the national flag requirement, CNA reported.

The DPP legislators mentioned that the national flag is the symbol of a country in many democratic republics today. They pointed out that Taiwan has been a democracy for more than 20 years and its various agencies, schools, and organizations, as well as its military, should not have to depend on the worship of a certain political leader from the past.

According to the law, [the lawmakers] should strictly abide by the constitutional government and fulfill one’s duties, they remarked, adding that it is no longer necessary to continue hanging Sun’s portrait in auditoriums and meeting places.

Fan and Chuang also proposed to amend the President and Vice President Oath Ordinance by removing the requirement of being sworn in before Sun’s portrait. They explained that the oath should be carried out facing only the national flag.

Protesting their proposals, Chen said that the DPP’s removal of the portrait Sun is a salami-slicing tactic for the erasure of the Republic of China. He pointed out that positioning the national flag and Sun’s portrait together is to remind the public of the original intention of the Xinhai Revolution and the origins of the Republic of China.

“Today, the DPP wants to do away with the portrait in order to sever the link between the Republic of China and Sun. Once the national flag is separated from Sun Yat-sen, the significance of the founding of the Republic of China is lost,” Chen stated.