Skip to main content

Taiwan May Ban The Public Display of the Chinese Flag

Taiwan may ban the public display of the Five-star Red Flag of the People's Republic of China  (PRC).

In recent months a number of Taiwanese organizations such as the Taiwan Society (台灣社),  the Taiwan Society North (台灣北社), and the Taiwan Constitutional Society (台灣憲法協會), have called on the Taiwanese government to outlaw the public display of the PRC flag on grounds of national security.

Embed from Getty Images

China views Taiwan as part of its own territory and has never renounced the use of force to achieve "reunification." Beijing has urged the Taiwanese government to acknowledge the so-called "1992 consensus," yet Taipei has refused to yield to pressure from the Communist regime.

In October 2017 a petition to ban the public display of the Chinese flag garnered over 7,000 signatures, surpassing the 5,000 signature threshold that requires Taiwan's Ministry of Justice to issue a response. The petition requested that the Criminal Code be amended to ban the Chinese national flag in order to prevent activities aimed at promoting secession or inciting aggression.

The Ministry of Justice rejected the petition, saying that it would infringe on freedom of speech, which is a fundamental right guaranteed by the Constitution. But Taiwan's Central Election Commission (CEC) is examining the viability of a referendum to ban the Chinese flag.


At a hearing held in Taiwan's Legislative Yuan on July 5, CEC chairman Ch'en Ying-ch'ien (陳英鈐) said that the Commission would announce its decision within 30 days. He stated that the Commission was aware of the Ministry of Justice's rejection of the petition, but that it wanted to listen to different opinions from all sides and examine similar legislation in other countries before coming to a conclusion.

At a July 5 press conference Ch'iu Ch'ui-cheng (邱垂正), a spokesperson for the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), Taiwan's agency that handles unofficial relations with China, said that Beijing has not renounced the use of force against Taiwan, and that acts of violence committed in the name of the Chinese flag are harmful to national security and social order. He added that MAC respects the outcome of referendums held according to the law. 

Acts of violence and intimidation have been committed by pro-China groups in Taiwan, some of which have ties to the island's triads. Chang An-lo, the leader of the Party for the Promotion of Chinese Unification (PPCU), is a gangster and the former head of the notorious Bamboo Gang, a powerful Taiwanese triad. Last May the Taiwanese authorities arrested more than 300 gangsters who are allegedly linked to the PPCU. 

Different states in the world handle free speech issues differently. In the United States, the First Amendment protects most forms of expression, even those one may deem vile or potentially dangerous. "Just as the First Amendment protects the right to display Nazi flags or Communist flags, or to burn American flags, so it protects the right to display the Islamic State’s flag, repulsive as the organization it represents is," wrote Eugene Volokh in The Washington Post.

Germany, by contrast, outlaws certain forms of expression linked to unconstitutional organizations. Section 86a of the German Criminal Code stipulates that whoever disseminates or displays in public symbols - flags, insignia, uniforms, slogans and greetings - of an unconstitutional organization may be punished with imprisonment for not more than three years or a fine. The use of unconstitutional symbols is only permitted for scientific or educational purposes.

The origins of Section 86 date back to the Right of Assembly Act of 1953, which banned the public display of symbols of Nazi organizations. Between 1960 and 1994 the Criminal Code was amended 4 times in order to extend the scope of the ban to all organizations deemed unconstitutional by the Federal Constitutional Court.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Rumours About Chinese Actress Fan Bingbing's Arrest Spread Online

Rumours about the arrest of Chinese model and actress Fan Bingbing on charges of tax evasion have spread on Chinese media.
As Apple Daily reports, celebrity Fan Bingbing and her younger brother Fan Chengcheng have allegedly been detained for taking part in a tax evasion scheme alongside her manager, Mu Xiaoguang.
Mu has also allegedly been charged with destroying incriminating evidence.

On May 28 TV anchor Cui Yongyuan posted on Weibo a contract that showed Fan Bingbing being paid $1.56 million (RMB10 million) for four days’ work on director Feng Xiaogang's film “Cell Phone 2.” 

Later Cui released another contract worth $7.8 million (RMB50 million) for the same work. He alleged that Fan had declared to tax authorities only the first contract, thus avoiding to pay taxes on the second, larger amount. 

Double-contracts for the purpose of tax evasion are known in China as "yin-yang contracts". 

Although the Chinese government censored Cui's posts, in early June China's t…

Living in Taiwan: Seven Reasons Why It's Good to Be Here

Chinese New Year can be a pretty boring time for a foreigner. All of my friends were celebrating with their families, and since I have no family here, nor have I a girlfriend whose family I could join, I had nothing special to do. Shops and cafes were closed - apart from big chains like McDonald's or Starbucks, which were overcrowded anyway. So I had a lot of time to think.
On Saturday evening I went out to buy my dinner. While I was walking around, I heard the voices of the people inside their homes, the sounds of their New Year celebrations. Then I suddenly asked myself: "What on earth are you doing here? Why are you still in Taiwan?" 
Before I came to Taiwan, some Taiwanese friends of mine had recommended me their country, highly prasing it and going so far as to say that Taiwan is a "paradise for foreigners" (bear in mind that when I say foreigners I mean 'Westerners'). 
"It's easy for foreigners to find a job," they argued. "Taiwane…

Back To Blogging, Finally

A few months ago I deactivated this blog because I wasn't happy about it. Over the years I had been writing too many posts about news and politics, and I felt that this was no longer the kind of personal blog I wanted to create at the beginning: a place for me to share my thoughts and experiences about my life in Taiwan, Hong Kong and other parts of East Asia.