Taipei Mayor Ma Ying-jeou, who also serves as chairman of the Kuomintang, recently gave an interview (video) with the BBC’s Mandarin service. He also took questions from callers. One dealt with the issue of romanization.
Ma, who will almost certainly be the KMT’s presidential candidate in 2008 and will likely win if the DPP doesn’t get its act together, again backed Hanyu Pinyin for Taiwan.
I haven’t yet watched the entire piece, which lasts an hour, so I’ll use a newspaper report of this:
Duìyú pīnyīn wèntí, Mǎ Yīngjiǔ biǎoshì, Hànyǔ Pīnyīn suī bù wánměi, dànshì quánshìjiè shǐyònglǜ dá bǎi fēnzhī 80 zhì 90, rúguǒ Táiwān jiānchí Tōngyòng Pīnyīn, wúfǎ yǔ guójì jiēguǐ, zhōngjiāng shòudào shānghài.
(On the question of romanization, Ma said that although Hanyu Pinyin isn’t perfect its international use rate is 80 or 90 percent. If Taiwan persists in using Tongyong Pinyin, Taiwan won’t be able to participate in international links and will finally suffer for it.)
Ma, who also serves as mayor of Taipei, initiated the change of the capital city’s romanization system to Hanyu Pinyin, a move widely applauded by Taiwan’s foreign community.
If anyone watches the whole video, I’d appreciate hearing just when in the broadcast Ma made his remarks on this.