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Taiwan Pro-Independence Groups Call for New Constitution

Two civil society groups in favor of Taiwan’s independence on Wednesday called on the government to abandon the Constitution of the Republic of China (ROC) and draft a new constitution with “Taiwan” designated the country’s official name.

“The current and future governments should not be intimidated” on the issue of the Taiwan independence, Richard Chen (陳南天), head of the World United Formosans for Independence (WUFI), told a press conference in Taipei on Wednesday.

The government should “use Taiwan as its full country name” and “formulate a Taiwan Constitution” based on the premise that “Taiwan and China are not subordinate to one another,” he added.

“[We] must confidently and actively move toward a more independent Taiwan,” Chen said, noting that the promulgation of a new constitution would help “deepen” a collective Taiwanese identity, without elaborating how he thinks that identity would differ from now.

Chen’s organization was formed in 1970 by different Taiwanese pro-independence groups based in Taiwan, the United States, Japan and Europe, among other countries.

Currently headquartered in Taiwan, the organization questions the legitimacy and relevance of the ROC Constitution to modern-day Taiwan, rejecting it as not being based on the wishes of the people of Taiwan.

WUFI has ruled out the possibility of revising the existing ROC Constitution to cater to the needs of Taiwanese society, citing the high bar for any constitutional amendments, and instead called for the establishment of a new constitution through a mechanism mandated by the people.

The call by WUFI and the Taiwan National Security Institute came months after the United States House of Representatives in late July passed a bill aimed at countering efforts by China to exclude Taiwan from participating in international organizations.

Titled the Taiwan International Solidarity Act, the bill makes the argument that United Nations Resolution 2758, which recognized the People’s Republic of China as the only legitimate government of China in 1971, does not apply to Taiwan.

According to the resolution, the U.N. decided to recognize the representatives of the People’s Republic of China government as “the only legitimate representatives of China to the United Nations” and “expel forthwith the representatives of Chiang Kai-shek from the place.”

Law expert Hsu Ching-hsiung (許慶雄), who currently teaches at Tamkang University, argued at the press event that the recent passage of the bill by the U.S. House reflected efforts by the international community to reject China’s claims over Taiwan.

It is therefore problematic for Taiwan to continue to “wave the flag of the Republic of China” and maintain the Republic of China system on Taiwan, he added.

Washington has said it does not support Taiwan independence and will continue to adhere to its one-China policy, under which the U.S. acknowledges Beijing’s position that Taiwan is part of China but does not take a stance over the issue.

Source: Focus Taiwan