A new round of "de-sinicizing" moves by Taiwanese authorities keen to eliminate the word "Chinese" from company names has sparked criticism on the island.
Taiwan leader Chen Shui-bian announced on Feb. 8 that the authorities will remove the words "China" or "Chinese" from the island's "government-run" organizations, enterprises and from certain laws and regulations.
Under the scheme, the names "Chunghwa (meaning China) Post Co." and "Chinese Petroleum Corp" (CPC) will be changed to "Taiwan Post Co." and "CPC Corporation, Taiwan".
The move has been opposed by local trade unions, which said the move was politically motivated and that Chen "was wasting taxpayers' money on meaningless ideological changes."
Xinhuanet.com estimated that the name change would cost "Chunghwa Post Co." and "Chinese Petroleum Corp." at least US$30 million each.
Taiwan opposition leader and former Taipei mayor Ma Ying-jeou also lambasted Chen's move, saying that the government should focus on economic development and bring down the unemployment rate rather than on name changes.
According to a survey conducted by TVBS, a local Taiwan TV station, only 21 percent of Taiwan citizens agreed with the authority's name changing moves, while 55 percent expressed disapproval.
The name changing initiative is the most recent in a series of "de-sinicizing" moves by Chen Shui-bian who wants to cut Taiwan's links to the mainland.
Last month, Taiwan authorities adopted a resolution that requires the island's National Palace Museum to remove all the labels that identify exhibits as being from the Chinese mainland. The move triggered criticism from both mainland and Taiwan scholars.
(Xinhua News Agency February 10, 2007)