President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday told the Tourism Bureau to remove the simplified Chinese version from its Web site, saying all government agencies should use traditional Chinese characters in official documents and on the Internet.
The president’s instructions came in the wake of a dispute over the use of simplified characters to cater to an expected influx of Chinese free independent travelers (FITs).
The Tourism Bureau had provided simplified Chinese among other languages on its Web site. The simplified Chinese version was removed yesterday morning.
“To maintain our role as the pioneer in Chinese culture, all government bodies should use traditional Chinese in official documents and on their Web sites, so that people around the world can learn about the beauty of traditional characters,” Presidential Office spokesman Fan Chiang Tai-chi (范姜泰基) quoted Ma as saying.
On Tuesday, the Executive Yuan urged retailers and other businesses to refrain from replacing traditional characters with simplified characters in product descriptions or on menus to cater to FITs.
Opening Taiwan to FITs is the latest move by Taiwan and China to enhance cross-strait exchanges. On Sunday, Chinese National Tourism Administration Chairman Shao Qiwei (邵琪偉) announced that the program would start on June 28 and would initially be open to residents of Beijing, Shanghai and Xiamen.
China’s unilateral announcement of an official launch date caught Taiwan by surprise. On Monday, Mainland Affairs Council Deputy Minister Liu Te-shun (劉德勳) said work still needed to be done, adding that if everything proceeded smoothly, FITs would be able to visit before June 28.
Fan Chiang yesterday repeated the Executive Yuan’s call for businesses to stick to traditional characters, saying Taiwan has opened its doors to Chinese tourists for three years and most have no trouble reading traditional characters.
“Chinese tourists come to Taiwan to experience the different culture and traditions here, and we should not take this experience away from them,” Fan Chiang said.
CAUTION: Taiwanese should be alert, even if they have just liked or shared posts that would breach Beijing’s national security legislation for Hong Kong, the council said Due to the newly implemented Hong Kong national security legislation, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) has drawn up a list of what it described as “high-risk groups,” cautioning them not to travel to Hong Kong. People who support independence for Taiwan, Hong Kong, Tibet and Xinjiang; those who are critical of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the Hong Kong government and the “one country, two systems” concept; and those who donated to or voiced support for the Hong Kong anti-extradition bill movement are urged to refrain from visiting Hong Kong, the council said on its Web site. It released two posts on
HONG KONG SECURITY: The president blasted regulations requiring Taiwanese agents or political organizations to provide information on their Hong Kong-related activities President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday warned of countermeasures should controversial Chinese national security legislation imposed on Hong Kong undermine or harm Taiwanese interests. Article 43 of the legislation empowers the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to serve written notices to Taiwanese political organizations or individual agents to furnish information on their Hong Kong-related activities, including their personal particulars, finances, assets, expenditure and capital in the territory. Failure to comply or providing false or incomplete information can result in a fine of HK$100,000 (US$12,903) or imprisonment of six months or two years respectively. Tsai said that Taiwan would keep a close watch on how
NEW HONG KONG LAW: A visit to Beijing-friendly nations or those with weak judicial systems could leave people at risk of deportation to China, a former MAC official said Beijing could request countries with which it has extradition agreements to deport Taiwanese to China to face criminal charges following the implementation of national security legislation for Hong Kong, a former Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) official warned yesterday. Some developing countries, and those close to China because of the Belt and Road Initiative, are likely to accommodate Beijing’s requests to extradite Taiwanese to China, said former deputy MAC minister Chen Ming-chi (陳明祺), who served from July 2, 2018, until May 20, and then returned to his former post as an assistant professor of sociology at National Tsing Hua University. While Taiwanese
MORAL COURAGE: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged the global community to face China’s intention to subdue Taiwan and reject such irrational requests The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday strongly condemned the Chinese government for meddling with US officials’ interactions with Taiwan after FBI Director Christopher Wray revealed China’s efforts to discourage US officials from visiting Taiwan. The greatest long-term threat to the US’ information security and intellectual property, as well as its economic vitality, is China’s counterintelligence and economic espionage operations, Wray told a video event at the Hudson Institute in Washington. Beijing is engaged in a highly sophisticated and maligning foreign influence campaign, with methods that include bribery, blackmail and covert deals, he said. Giving an example, Wray said that when a US official