It was not clear whether Taiwan's not being a member of the United Nations would hinder the effort, but Taiwan's government does not believe China would oppose the move because the complex characters are part of the Chinese heritage, the News said.Traditional characters are used in Hong Kong and Macau as well. Note the rendering of the idealized faux Chinese culture of KMT ideology as "Chinese culture". Traditional characters had been in use on Taiwan since the arrival of the first colonists from south China four centuries ago, yet the paragraph is constructed so as to give the reader the impression that their use in Taiwan owes nothing to that past. Into the memory hole with ye, Taiwan culture! A CNA article gives a fuller discussion of the campaign:
When the Chinese Communists won the Chinese Civil War and founded the People's Republic of China in 1949, they introduced simplified Chinese characters beginning in 1956 to make it easier for farmers and workers to learn to read and write.
But the Chinese Nationalist Government, which lost the civil war and fled to Taiwan to set up its government-in-exile, preserved the complex characters in the name of preserving the Chinese culture, and today Taiwan is the only place in the world where the complex characters are still being used.
The academics, led by Lee Hsien, a retired Chinese literature and language professor from National Taiwan Normal University, made the appeal via a written petition that says traditional Chinese characters – the vehicle that carries the venerable and profound Chinese culture – have been in use for more than a millennium without evident changes and that through traditional Chinese characters, users can understand what the ancient Chinese people said and how they were thinking.
This actually reflects a living miracle in human history in terms of any written character usage, Lee said. At present, only 50 million people around the world use traditional Chinese characters, while 1.3 billion people, mostly people in China , use simplified Chinese characters, Lee noted.
Chinese calligraphy has also been targeted for UNESCO status.
UPDATE: A-gu points out in the comments:
The KMT was responsible for most of the early simplification research. But once the Communist Party adopted simplified characters on the mainland, the KMT did an about face. Their motivation was not to preserve traditional Chinese culture, but to throw away their own project just for the sake of being anti-Communist.Right on! The first simplified character set was released by the KMT Ministry of Education in the 1930s. This China website actually is clearer on that than Wiki. In other words, the KMT position of preserving the writing of 牛鬼蛇神的文字 is completely bogus.