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August 18, 2017

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Expatriates in California protest against council name change

LOS ANGELES--Over 40 societies of Taiwanese compatriots based in Southern California on Friday lodged a protest over the name change of the Overseas Chinese Affairs Council.

The council, a Cabinet-level commission under Taiwan's Executive Yuan, recently changed its English name from Overseas Compatriots Affairs Council to Overseas Chinese Affairs Council.

Many overseas Taiwanese prefer to be recognized as being Taiwanese instead of Chinese.

Wang Mei-feng, the president of the board of Taiwan Center Foundation of Greater Los Angeles, said at a news conference that the council's name was changed without undergoing democratic procedures and communications with overseas Taiwanese living in the U.S.

"We are proud of being Taiwanese and using the name of 'Chinese' would cause confusion in the international community," a statement from the foundation said.

At the news conference, Wang urged the council to withdraw its decision or the Taiwanese societies would refuse to take part in any Double Tenth celebrations this year in the U.S.

Lai Ying-hui, a member of the consultant committee of the council also tendered her resignation at the press conference to voice her anger and urged the council to reconsider the name change.

In response, Kung Chung-chen, the director-general of Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Los Angeles, said the commission simply changed the name back to what it was before the government of former Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian changed it during its administration between 2000 and 2008.

Kung said now that the name has been changed back to what it was, there will be no concern over possible misleading information as the logo of the council showed the flag of the Republic of China, Taiwan's official name.

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