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September 23, 2017

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KMT blasts opposition for questioning gov't stance on museum controversy

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The ruling Kuomintang (KMT) yesterday criticized some opposition lawmakers for questioning the government's tough stance in a dispute with Japan over the name of Taiwan's National Palace Museum (NPM).

The government has issued an ultimatum demanding the organizer of an exhibition of NPM collections in Japan restore the word "national" in reference to the museum in its promotional materials, or face cancellation of the event.

But Legislator Lin Chia-lung from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said the government's move would hurt Taiwan-Japan ties and benefit China.

Another DPP legislator, Tsai Huang-liang, claimed the government has "double standards" when handling Japan ties.

"The Kuomintang fully supports the government's tough stance in handling Japan, in order to maintain the nation's integrity," said party spokesman Chen Yi-hsin in reference to the ultimatum.

Chen questioned the motive behind Lin's remarks, claiming the DPP legislator was making a "vicious political move" in order to make gains for his election campaign. Lin is the DPP's candidate in the Taichung mayoral race.

He demanded the DPP ask itself why it has always "dwarfed" itself and remained silent in the face of Japan when it comes to defending the nation's integrity.

The KMT spokesman also claimed that it is the DPP who has had "double standards" when handling Japan.

He said the DPP has always avoided talking about the sovereignty status of the disputed Diaoyutai islands in the East China Sea. The Diaoyutais are controlled by Tokyo, but both Taipei and Beijing claim sovereignty over the uninhabited islands.

The DPP has never dared to speak aloud that the Diaoyutais belong to the Republic of China, Chen said. When the pro-Taiwan independence camp has voiced open support for Japan's claims to the islands, the DPP has never once disputed them, Chen said.

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