A group of pro-Taiwan independence organizations last night staged a protest outside the Taipei Arena against a controversial Chinese music concert, which the protesters lambasted as part of China’s “united front” (統戰) tactics to bring Taiwan into its fold.
The Chinese Music Chart, dubbed China’s Grammy Awards, presented a concert featuring 62 bands and singers from across the Taiwan Strait, as well as some famous names, such as Taiwanese singer Wang Lee-hom (王力宏), Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi (章子怡) and Chinese singer Han Geng (韓庚).
The final act of the concert was a grand chorus in which all the artists sang the song The Descendants of the Dragon (龍的傳人).
China bringing its music awards to Taiwan underscores its gambit of attempting to achieve political unification under the guise of culture, Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) Secretary-General Lin Chih-chia (林志嘉) said.
The TSU had vehicles on which loudspeakers were installed circling the venue, broadcasting: “No denigration of Taiwan’s sovereignty and no becoming part of China.”
“The TSU is protesting against the mindset of the organizers. The Chinese singers and the audience members are not the targets of the protest,” Lin said.
The party exercised self-restraint in the protest, he added, saying that “its stance is firm, but its actions are gentle.”
The 95-year-old founder of the Association for Taiwan Independence, Shih Ming (史明), also made an appearance and, with the help of friends, handed out flyers to people attending the event.
Meanwhile, Alliance of Referendum for Taiwan executor Tsay Ting-kuei (蔡丁貴) thanked the police for maintaining order at the event, as well as for removing several unidentified people who were allegedly trying to pick a fight.
President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration has purposefully allowed the Chinese event to be held in Taiwan because it would enable China to assimilate the people of Taiwan culturally, he said.
“We must use rational and peaceful means in a public place to make our statement that Taiwanese do not want to be ruled by China,” Tsay said.
He added that he hoped all the Chinese visitors present at the event would be impressed with Taiwan’s embracing of liberty, democracy and human rights.
The event organizers had initially hoped to hold this year’s Chinese Music Chart award ceremony in Taiwan for the first time, but the event was changed to a concert at the request of the authorities.
When the organizers unilaterally announced in Beijing on Nov. 30 that this year’s award presentation ceremony would be held in Taipei to mark the chart’s 20th anniversary, it drew the ire of Taiwan’s opposition parties.
The government eventually decided to allow the concert to be held in Taipei under several conditions, including that geographic areas in the production will be called by the legal terms used by Taiwan — the Taiwan Area, the Mainland Area, Hong Kong and Macau.