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Taiwanese Americans protest OCAC name change
Taiwan News
2012-10-07 04:08 PM
In a joint letter to Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou dated October 4, 2012, the Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA) along with 24 other Taiwanese American Organizations expressed their deep concern about the Ma administration's decision to change the name of the "Overseas Compatriots Affairs Commission" to the "Overseas Chinese Affairs Council," effective September 1.

The government's decision was uncovered by lawmakers from the Democratic Progressive Party during a question-and-answer session with OCAC Minister Wu Ying-jih on September 26 in the Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee of Taiwan's Legislative Yuan.

The joint letter stated: "We strongly object to the use of the word "Chinese" in the title of a government agency whose main mission is to maintain contacts with members of the overseas community from Taiwan...The term "Chinese" is confusing, as it gives outsiders the impression that this is an organization under the control of the People's Republic of China and its Communist government.

The organizations also criticized "the secretive way in which the Ma government implemented this change: without any democratic procedures, without any advice and consent by Taiwan's Legislative Yuan, and most importantly, without communication with the overseas Taiwanese community. "

They letter concluded: "We urge the Taiwan authorities to retain the present title of the Overseas Compatriot Affairs Council, or -better yet- move forward and rename the agency as the Overseas Taiwanese Affairs Council, to more fully represent the spirit of a free and democratic Taiwan."

FAPA President Mark Kao, PhD. who initiated the letter, states: "As a branch of the Executive Yuan the whole OCAC institution is a redundant old KMT to begin with and should be abolished."

Dr. Kao continues: "Until then, however, we need to call it what it is: an organization for cultural, education, economic, and informational exchanges between Taiwan and overseas Taiwanese, which has nothing to do with China or with Chinese."

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