The “Sing! China: Shanghai-Taipei Music Festival” scheduled for yesterday at National Taiwan University’s (NTU) athletic field came to an abrupt end following protests by pro-Taiwan independence groups and students at the school against the university’s decision to rent the venue for the event.
The site quickly descended into further dissarray, as members of pro-unification groups joined the fray.
Three students were reportedly injured by a member of the pro-unification Patriot Association (愛國同心會), police said.
Photo: Chou Yen-yu, Taipei Times
At the center of the furor was the school’s decision to rent the athletic field for the event, which was cosponsored by the Taipei Department of Cultural Affairs and the Chinese reality television show Sing! China.
Representatives of the school’s student council on Saturday said that the event had not only caused structural damage to the facilities, but also denied NTU students and sports teams use of the field and its track.
The festival is included in memorandums of understanding on cultural and arts events signed by Taipei and Shanghai, but posters for the event called the school “Taipei City Taiwan University (臺北市臺灣大學).”
Accusing China of using the concert as a “united front” tactic that infringed upon Taiwan’s interests, pro-Taiwan independence groups Free Taiwan Party and 908 Taiwan Republic Campaign first staged a protest outside the venue before purchasing tickets.
Scuffles broke out when they were barred from entering by event staffers as they shouted slogans such as: “This is the land of Taiwanese, why can’t Taiwanese with tickets get in?”
The protesters rammed the entrance at 4pm waving a “Republic of Taiwan” flag, sounding air horns and holding banners that read “Refuse to be China Taiwan University.”
About 30 minutes later, a crowd of NTU students entered the venue, holding placards reading “return the track and field” and tossing joss paper as they demanded an apology from the school and the Cultural Affairs Department.
Citing safety concerns by NTU, the emcee at 4:40pm announced the concert was over, prompting cheers from the student protesters, some of whom climbed onto the stage, shouting: “We are Taiwan National University, not China Taiwan University.”
As the crowd dispersed at about 5pm, verbal altercations erupted between some students and members of pro-unification groups, and three students were injured after being hit by a stick.
Police later found the alleged perpetrator, a 61-year-old man surnamed Hu (胡), and took him for questioning.
NTU official later condemned the violence and the event organizer’s “belittlement” of the nation’s premier university.
NTU secretary-general Lin Ta-te (林達德) said that it was “very inappropriate” for the event organizer to borrow the venue while belittling the university.
Additional reporting by Kuo An-chia
PROTECTION: The New Taipei City mayor said a pass could cover stores, but not eateries, while Ko Wen-je said vaccinated people could be exempted from some rules Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) and New Taipei City Mayor Hou You-yi (侯友宜) on Saturday proposed implementing a “COVID-19 pass” regulation that would allow only vaccinated people into certain areas. New Taipei City is planning to require a “COVID-19 pass” for entry to “vulnerable spaces” to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Hou said. Non-students entering elementary schools in New Taipei City are required to show their COVID-19 vaccination cards or proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test. This is for the protection of students under the age of 12, who are not eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, city officials have said. The
‘GOOD FRIEND’: The Slovenian prime minister said he had visited Taiwan four or five times, and that Taiwanese should have the right to determine their future The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday welcomed Slovenia’s plan to establish a representative office in Taiwan, after Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa revealed the plan in an interview with Indian TV station Doordarshan on Monday. Taiwan is a democratic country that respects international democratic standards and international laws, the Slovenian prime minister said in the interview. Slovenia and Taiwan are working on “exchanging representatives,” he said. “Of course, this will not be on the level of embassies. It will be on the same level as many of the EU member countries.” “When I spoke with our businessmen who are trading with Taiwan, they
LAWMAKERS RALLY: Beijing’s unlegislated actions breach international and WTO trade rules, and affect the basic principles of the EU single market, the letter said A group of 41 EU lawmakers on Tuesday condemned China for its political and economic coercion of Lithuania, and called on leaders of the bloc to demonstrate solidarity with Vilnius. The letter was initiated by Slovakian Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Miriam Lexmann, who is cochair of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China. “We, the undersigned members of the European Parliament, resolutely condemn political and economic coercion of the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) against Lithuania,” the letter said. The letter addressed European Council President Charles Michel, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and
BRIBES FOR VOTES: A probe found that funding for the scheme came from Huang Daonian, director of the Economic Bureau at Changsha City’s Taiwan Affairs Office Five Taiwanese businesspeople working in China were yesterday found guilty of taking money from Chinese authorities to buy votes for Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) in the 2020 presidential election. The Taipei District Court sentenced Association of Taiwan Investment Enterprises (台灣同胞投資企業協會) Changsha City Branch chairman Lin Huai (林懷) to three years and 10 months in jail, with deprivation of his civil rights for four years. The other four convicted in the case, who all received 20-month prison terms, were China New Family Association (中華兩岸新家庭協會) chairwoman Chiang Ming-sia (蔣明霞), Hunan Shaoyang City Association in Taiwan (湖南邵陽旅台同鄉會) director Chang Kuo-chun (張國君),