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Revised Taiwan Textbooks Slammed
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Yesterday Beijing was critical of Taipei's attempt to promote "Taiwan independence" by revising the island's high-school history textbooks.

On instructions from Taiwan's "ministry of education", terms such as "our country", "this country" and "the mainland" in the textbooks had been changed to "China".

"We've noticed the developments. The political motive behind it is to transform the island's education into a 'Taiwan independence' ideological tool," Yang Yi, spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council explained at a regular briefing.

"Taiwan is an inseparable part of China," said Yang. "No matter what tricks the secessionist forces play they can't change the fact."

Yang also condemned Taiwan's "national palace museum" for removing all the labels that identify half a million exhibits as originating from the Chinese mainland. He called this a "despicable act".

A resolution was adopted by Taiwan's "Executive Yuan" on January 17 barring the museum from identifying its exhibits as having been transported from the Imperial Palace in Beijing.

Under the resolution the work of the museum was to be "the collection, study and expatiation of 'domestic and foreign' antiques and art pieces" and not "the collection, study and expatiation of ancient Chinese art".

Opened in 1965 the Taipei museum houses 654,500 art works and artifacts shipped from Beijing to Taiwan in 1949 when the Nationalists retreated to the island during a civil war.

Mainland scholars have condemned the change. They say the revised regulation ignores historic fact and is another attempt to cut Taiwan's links to the mainland. "Regulations can be changed but history can't," said Liang Jinsheng, a researcher at the Palace Museum in Beijing.

In response to reports about the possible visit of senior Kuomintang official Wang Jin-pyng to the mainland after the Chinese Lunar New Year, Yang said: "We are willing to communicate with any individual or group from Taiwan, as long as they uphold the one-China principle and acknowledge the '1992 consensus'."

According to the consensus, both sides of the Straits agree that there is only one China in the world despite their different interpretation of the political meaning of "one China".

Taiwan media have reported that Wang, "president" of Taiwan's "Legislative Yuan", may visit his ancestral home in east China's Fujian Province this year.

Yang also said the mainland "had noticed" media reports that the former pro-independence leader of the island, Lee Tung-hui, is looking forward to a mainland visit. He refused to elaborate on the mainland's stance towards Lee's plan.

(China Daily February 1, 2007)

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