Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) yesterday told lawmakers that the government will consider dropping the nation's Republican (minguo, 民國) calendar and make the Gregorian calendar the only official time system.The Taipei Times achieves the appearance of nuetrality by simple suppressing any negative commentary from the pro-China side. At the same time, the anti-Green, pro-Blue China Post runs an intensely anti-DPP article:
"I agree with the proposal and I think it's a practical idea," Su said in the legislature yesterday in response to questions from lawmakers.
He added that he would do his best to promote a changeover to the Gregorian system.
Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Lin Tai-hua (林岱樺), who proposed the change, said that using both the Republican and Gregorian calendars could be confusing, especially to foreigners.
If the proposal is adopted, the government would carefully plan how to implement the Gregorian calendar and amend laws and regulations, Su told Lin.
The Republic of China's Republican calendar was introduced in 1912, when the provisional legislature authorized a proposal to use the Republican and Gregorian calendars in tandem.
The Republican calendar has been blamed for creating confusion, especially in the case of expiry dates printed on perishable exports.Su said that updating calendar and national language conventions are important aspects of internationalization. This was why the official right-to-left writing system was changed to left-to-right, he said.
The current years marks the 95th year of the ROC because the republic was established in 1991 after ROC Founding Father Sun Yat-sen overthrew the decaying imperial Qing Dynasty.
The change to eradicate the "ROC system" would conform with the independence-leaning DPP's policy of deleting the ROC national name. But the move will also conforms exactly with the system used by the People's Republic of China (PRC) in the Chinese mainland.
Kuomintang (KMT) Chairman Ma Ying-jeou commented that there is no conflict or inconvenience to use the dual system as now. He cited the example of Japan which also use both the Western system and the system based on the ascension of a new Japanese emperor.
Legislator Liu Wen-hsiung of the opposition People First Party (PFP) questioned Su if it is appropriate for the DPP administration to waste time one such an ideological issue when people in the country are faced with tremendous difficulties and frustrations in their daily life, including the surging suicide rate.
Su answered that many matters can only be implemented via the revisions of the laws in the nation.
Lee Hung-chun, another PFP legislator, pointed out that the issue signaled the DPP's intention of taking another step toward Taiwan independence and has nothing to do with conforming to the international practice.
He said that all the people in Taiwan now are most concerned if they can make enough money to bring food for their families. Nobody cares whether the banknotes or coins are inscribed with the ROC year or the Christian year, he added.
Two Blue legislators are cited, but few if any positive views are given. I especially like the way the article smears the DPP by noting the "fact" that the calendar is the same as that used in Communist China (but someone forgot to mention that it is also used in North America and Europe). The DPP is just like those Communists! And the hyperbole is numbing:
If the DPP had its way, another commentator said that this could be an even worse disaster to be triggered by the DPP administration after it scrapped the partially completed new nuclear power plant and then was forced to revive the project.
Yet another reason to read the Taipei Times -- the English editor at the China Post seems to have gone on vacation.
[Taiwan] [media] [Taipei Times]