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.An interesting call by Ma, who has worked hard to shape the discourse on China from his bully pulpit as President (remember when he demanded that everyone in the gov't refer to China as "the mainland?"). The Tourism Bureau already uses simplified characters in their promotional materials in China, and called on shops and restaurants frequented by Chinese tourists to add menus and other information in simplified characters.
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.
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