As is well-known, the Kuomintang authorities on Taiwan still refer
to their government as "Republic of China", while the
democratic opposition has long argued to discard this confusing and
anachronistic name, and adopt the name "Taiwan" as
name of the country.
How confusing the "Republic of China" name is to anyone
not steeped in the KMT's lingo, became apparent during President Lee
Teng-hui's recent visit to Honduras, when the authorities there
welcomed him with full-page greetings in local newspapers -- adorned
with the flag of Communist "People's Republic of China"
Honduras was the second stop on Lee's four-nation Latin American
tour, which aims to boost Taiwan's international standing and loosen
a diplomatic embargo engineered by Beijing.
As newspapers in Tegucigalpa rectified this error in subsequent
editions, one Tegucigalpa daily committed another by portraying Lee
as being married to the wrong woman. Taiwan media cheekily
reproduced a Welcome-to-Honduras advertisement on Thursday,
featuring a picture of "President Lee and First Lady.'' But
Taiwan's first lady Tseng Wen-huei was nowhere to be seen. The "wife''
was Yu-Chen Yue-ying, the former DPP opposition magistrate of
southern Kaohsiung county.
The display of communist China's red five-star flag was most
embarrassing error for Lee and his entourage, but clearly the result
of the perpetuation of the Kuomintang's own outdated policies. It is
time for Taiwan to call itself "Taiwan", and for the
international community to accept it as a full member.
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