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Taiwan Changes Nomenclature Rules

March 16, 1999

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) _ Taiwan long has required any group that organizes on a nationwide basis to include the island’s official title _ Republic of China _ in its name.

But Taiwan now sees no point in clinging to its belief that it should run the much larger mainland China, and the realization is leading to new rules on names.

Soon nationally organized groups _ ranging from the general chamber of commerce to the cleft lip-palate children’s fund _ will be able to register under names identifying them as groups from Taiwan, an Interior Ministry official said Tuesday.

The change comes in response to appeals from organizations that say they have no identification with China but want the privileges of a nationally organized group, said the official, who gave only his surname, Tsai.

Official registration gives groups tax-exempt status and makes it easier for them to hold public events.

The official did not say how many of the more than 3,000 organizations registered with the ministry might change their names. But several organizations that use Taiwan in their names, such as the Taiwan Political Studies Society, are expected to switch their registrations from local governments to the ministry, Tsai said.

Taiwan and China split amid civil war in 1949, when Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalists were forced to seek refuge here after the communist takeover of the mainland.

Though Taiwan has stopped short of declaring itself formally independent from China, it says the rival sides should recognize one another as a midway step to reunification.

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