Yesterday’s Double Ten National Day celebration in front of the Presidential Office Building in Taipei was heavy on diversity, heroes and military personnel compared with last year’s event.
A parade of “heroes of wind and rain” followed President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) national day address, spotlighting those involved in disaster relief operations.
While not a full-scale military parade, the march featured a substantial number of military personnel and equipment compared with the brief military fly-over that followed former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) speech last year.
Photo: Peter Lo, Taipei Times
The cloudy skies over downtown Taipei were filled with the thunder of a steady line of helicopters from the military and Ministry of the Interior fleets, which were immediately followed by a drive-by by rows of camouflaged military vehicles carrying soldiers from disaster relief units, military logistics vehicles and other equipment.
Police motorcycles and fire trucks brought up the rear as audience members waved banners thanking service members.
Medal-winning athletes from the Rio de Janiero Olympic Games — weightlifters Hsu Shu-ching (許淑淨) and Kuo Hsing-chun (郭婞淳) and archers Lei Chien-ying (雷千瑩) and Lin Shih-chia (林詩嘉) — drew prolonged applause as they rode by in jeeps.
Baseball legend Chen Chin-feng (陳金鋒) led the singing of the national anthem along with members of Dongyuan Elementary School’s internationally recognized Little League baseball team.
The Ministry of National Defense’s Honor Guard and Joint Military Marching Band maintained their tradition of annual performances.
Another nod to tradition was the triple ceremonial bow to a portrait of Republic of China (ROC) founding father Sun Yat-sen (孫逸仙) that was superimposed over the national flag.
Photo: Ritchie B Tongo, EPA
There was also the traditional address by an overseas Chinese representative, even as the nation’s ethnic diversity — as opposed to ethnic Han nationalism — received greater emphasis.
The opening act featured two bands performing songs in several languages: Hoklo (commonly known as Taiwanese), Hakka, Puyuma and Mandarin Chinese.
The emphasis on diversity was also apparent in the coloring of the front stage, which was painted in a rainbow pattern rather than the traditional red, white and blue colors of the national flag.
Photo: Sam Yeh, AFP
There were also several small changes, such as the hostesses who showed the dignitaries to their seats wearing different colored skirts instead of the traditional red qipao (旗袍) and the “national day hats” (國慶帽) worn by audience members, when seen from above, formed a mosaic depicting a Formosan black bear instead of the traditional ROC imagery.
A drive-past by Taoyuan borough wardens on zero-emission scooters, performances by the cheerleadering squads from baseball teams and students from several high schools and colleges rounded out the almost three-hour show.
HONG KONG SECURITY: The president blasted regulations requiring Taiwanese agents or political organizations to provide information on their Hong Kong-related activities President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday warned of countermeasures should controversial Chinese national security legislation imposed on Hong Kong undermine or harm Taiwanese interests. Article 43 of the legislation empowers the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to serve written notices to Taiwanese political organizations or individual agents to furnish information on their Hong Kong-related activities, including their personal particulars, finances, assets, expenditure and capital in the territory. Failure to comply or providing false or incomplete information can result in a fine of HK$100,000 (US$12,903) or imprisonment of six months or two years respectively. Tsai said that Taiwan would keep a close watch on how
JUST QUESTIONS: Expelled reporter Ai Kezhu said that every member of Southeast Television had complied with the law and had not appeared on any talk shows Two Chinese reporters yesterday left Taiwan after the government revoked their accreditation and ordered them to leave amid a probe into allegations that several Chinese media outlets have set up studios and produced political talk shows in Taiwan. The two reporters — Ai Kezhu (艾珂竹) and Lu Qiang (盧薔) — worked for Fujian Province-based Southeast Television and arrived in Taiwan in December last year. The Mainland Affairs Council has launched an investigation after local media reported that Chinese broadcasters — including China Central Television, Southeast Television and FJTV — had set up studios in Taipei and produced political talk shows. Council Deputy Minister
PROBE LAUNCHED: An officer who served as a supervisor in the drill died in an apparent suicide after the accident, which was caused by unexpected waves Two marines who were on Friday injured in a military exercise in the waters off Kaohsiung passed away yesterday, Navy Command said. The marines — surnamed Tsai (蔡), 26, and a sergeant surnamed Chen (陳), 36 — were in a seven-member Marine Corps team that encountered rough seas during a simulated response to enemy forces landing on Taiwan. Their rubber craft overturned in waters off Taoziyuan (桃子園) beach in Zuoying District (左營), injuring four of the marines. They were rushed to hospital, where three of them — Tsai, Chen and a 34-year-old sergeant — were taken to an intensive care unit
‘SIGNAL TO ALLIES’: The US Navy’s exercises are not in response to those carried out by China, the commander of the strike group led by the USS ‘Ronald Reagan’ said Two US aircraft carriers were yesterday conducting exercises in the disputed South China Sea, the US Navy said as China also carried out military drills that have been criticized by the US Department of Defense and neighboring states. China and the US have accused each other of stoking tension in the waterway at a time of strained relations over everything from COVID-19 to trade to Hong Kong. The USS Nimitz and USS Ronald Reagan were carrying out operations and exercises in the South China Sea “to support a free and open Indo-Pacific,” the navy said in a statement. It did not say exactly