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May 27, 2017

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Opposition calls to impeach MOE officials over changes to history texts

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) went to the Control Yuan yesterday to demand the impeachment of certain Ministry of Education (MOE) officials after the MOE passed high school curriculum alterations.

The MOE announced plans to make "slight changes" to the history and Chinese textbooks and curriculum of local high schools in January, a plan that sparked heated complaints from historians and high school teachers. Opposing voices stated that the changes, mainly word additions that were interpreted as China-sympathetic, were outrageous and constituted a "rewriting of history."

Among the alterations, students will learn about Zheng Cheng-gong (鄭成功) as a Ming Dynasty ruler in Taiwan, instead of simply the Zheng family governing on its own, the Dutch and Spanish merely "entered" Taiwan instead of actually ruling it, the Qing Dynasty is to be referred to as the court of Qing, and the name "China" will become "mainland China" from now on to stay in line with the terminology of the Constitution and the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area.

The main opposition party reported these five changes to the Control Yuan yesterday. DPP deputy secretary-general Lee Chun-yi (李俊毅) pointed out that the case violated administrative procedures that are usually applied to slated curriculum changes and was not neutral, objective and professional. In addition, The MOE also failed to glean opinions from different fields concerning the alterations, and changes were in fact not necessary — implementing them would only display unwarranted hastiness. "Lastly, the alterations are not true to history," Lee said.

DPP officials filed to impeach MOE Minister Chiang Wei-ling (蔣偉寧), whom they accused of interfering to bring about the curriculum changes as well as many other MOE officials related to the case.

"We are here in the place of our Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) to accuse the MOE of going against the law and abusing its power," DPP Spokesman Lin Chun-hsien (林俊憲) said.

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