TAIWAN: Blue camp blasts DPP campaign ad's use of flag, anthem

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT)-People First Party (PFP) alliance yesterday criticized the Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) latest TV spot, calling its use of the national flag and national anthem insincere

Taipei Times
Tuesday, December 16, 2003

By Huang Tai-lin

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT)-People First Party (PFP) alliance yesterday criticized the Democratic Progressive Party's (DPP) latest TV spot, calling its use of the national flag and national anthem insincere.

"If the DPP really harbors sincerity toward the national flag and national anthem, it should raise the national flag at its headquarters," alliance spokesman Hwang Yih-jiau said at a press conference held at the blue camp's campaign headquarters.

Using the national anthem as background music, the DPP's latest TV campaign spot -- entitled "Yes, Taiwan" -- features the national flag and photos of Chen along with text pointing to Chen's achievements during the past four years of his presidency.

"Although the DPP has used the national flag and anthem in its campaign advertisement, whether it really has respect for the national flag and anthem requires further observation," Hwang said, adding that the flag is rarely seen at DPP campaign events

Hwang said that if the DPP wants to avoid being seen as using the flag and anthem for election purposes, it should raise the flag and sing the anthem more often.

"Not only should Chen encourage others to sing the national anthem, he should encourage Alice King to sing as well," Hwang added.

Well-known for her pro-independence views, King, Tokyo-based national policy adviser to the president, once said she found the sight of the ROC flag revolting.

Taiwan Sugar chairman Wu Nai-jen, who is a member of the propaganda department of Chen's campaign team, said on Sunday that the TV spot was meant to appeal to neutral voters.

"Taiwan is itself already an independent sovereignty; there is therefore no ideology of independence or unification involved," Wu said.

"[The ad] wishes to clear doubts and stress to them [neutral voters] that Chen represents the successor of the Republic of China regime and that whether the future changes is up to the people," he said.

Hwang also urged Chen to clearly state his stance with regard to KMT Chairman Lien Chan's recent call to hold a referendum on the merging of Taipei City and Taipei County.

The deputy director of the DPP's Department of Information and Culture, Chen Wen-tsan, said the blue camp had no right to criticize the commercial.

"Chen has saluted the national flag and anthem at all kinds of official events during the past four years," Cheng said. "KMT Chairman Lien Chan and his PFP counterpart James Soong, on the other hand, have not once taken part in these national occasions."

Cheng said the message of the TV spot was that voters must "cherish Taiwan and consolidate its democracy."