In a further step symbolizing the diplomatic battle between China and Taiwan in overseas communities, an organization for overseas Chinese in the US has decided to absent itself from Double Ten National Day celebrations this year, the Overseas Community Affairs Council said.
The Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (CCBA) in San Francisco announced on its Web site early last month that the organization would not host any events to celebrate Double Ten National Day this year, following a decision made by its executive board in August.
The CCBA said that 32 of its executives, among a total of 41 present at the board’s monthly meeting in August, were in favor of the decision.
It will be the first time the CCBA hosts no celebrations to mark the anniversary of the Wuchang uprising. The uprising sparked the Xinhai Revolution led by Sun Yat-sen (孫中山) that ended imperial rule in China and established the Republic of China (ROC) in 1912.
Overseas Community Affairs Council Minister Steven Chen (陳士魁) advised a meeting of the legislature’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee yesterday.
“We respect the decision,” Chen said.
The CCBA, established in 1854, is composed of seven compatriot associations. Some of the associations with members whose families relocated to the US mostly from China have for generations strongly identified with the People’s Republic of China (PRC), while there are some relatively recent arrivals, mostly from Taiwan, whose associations recognize the ROC over the PRC.
The CCBA decided in its board meeting in July to organize events to celebrate Double Ten National Day this year as usual, but some executives proposed in August’s meeting that if a celebration is to be held on Thursday next week, it should not be dedicated to the ROC, Overseas Community Affairs Council Deputy Minister Chen Yu-mei (陳玉梅) said in an e-mail to the Taipei Times last night.
The proposal incurred the wrath of some of the executives who identify with the ROC and they said that they would rather call off the annual celebrations rather than see them being held, but not to commemorate the ROC, Chen Yu-mei said in the e-mail.
Amid the disagreement, July’s decision was overruled, she said.
After the meeting, several different community groups in the Greater San Francisco area formed an organizing committee for National Day celebrations and have put together a series of events to celebrate Double Ten National Day, including a flag-raising ceremony, parades, cultural activities and a dinner, among others, Chen Yu-mei said.
Chen Yu-mei said that a total of 312 events are to be held by compatriots to celebrate the National Day around the world.
The CCBA drew the ire of pro-ROC compatriot associations when it removed the ROC national flag from its office in May. The board decided to replace the flag with those of the US and the state of California.
Then-Overseas Community Affairs Council deputy minister Jen Hung (任弘) said at that time that the removal of the flag served as a “warning” that the ROC is losing the support of compatriot associations.