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Taiwanese ruling party adopts measure to change island's name, implement new constitution

Taiwanese ruling party adopts measure to change island's name, implement new constitution

Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party on Thursday passed a measure calling for the island's name to be changed, and a new constitution to be adopted, a move that is almost certain to rile rival China.
The initiative comes ahead of next year's presidential elections in which the DPP is expected to emphasize Taiwan's separate status from the mainland.
By contrast, the main opposition Nationalists support expanded trade and transportation ties with the communist colossus to the west, and even eventual unification.
Taiwan and China split amid civil war in 1949.
Thursday's resolution said Taiwan should drop its official name of the Republic of China, and adopt a new constitution to replace the one promulgated in 1947, when the then Nationalist government was still in power on the mainland.
That constitution sees Taiwan as one Chinese province among many, a position that accords with the view of today's leaders in Beijing.
While Thursday's resolution did not specify what the Republic of China's new name should be, DPP leaders have long championed "Taiwan," seeing it as a clear expression of the island's separateness from the mainland.
The name "Republic of China" connotes fealty to the one-China concept demanded by Beijing.
Since the DPP first came to power in 2000, Chinese leaders have blasted its policies as "separatist," and warned that any move to make Taiwan's de facto independence permanent would lead to war.
The DPP resolution was pushed by party radicals, who feel that a clear expression of anti-China tendencies will help rally voters for legislative elections in January 2008, and the presidential poll two months later.
In the presidential contest, the DPP's Frank Hsieh will face off against Ma Ying-jeou of the Nationalists.
Hsieh is walking a fine line between maintaining radical support and appealing to the broad swathe of centrist voters whose support he needs to win.
In a bid to appeal to the centrists, he convinced radicals to drop a demand that work began immediately on implementing the resolution's provisions.
The final language of the measure contains no time frame for implementation.


Updated : 2020-12-03 21:39 GMT+08:00