Wed, May 19, 2004 - Page 2 News List

228 human chain rally commemorated in book, VCD

By Chang Yun-ping  /  STAFF REPORTER

Peter Wang, deputy executive director of the Hand-in-Hand Taiwan Alliance, bottom left, Lee Ming-yung, second left, Ng Chiau-tong, chief organizer of the 228 Hand-in-Hand Rally, top left, and Ruan Ming, a professor at Tamkang University, right, introduce a book and VCD documenting the world's longest human chain yesterday.

PHOTO: LIAO CHEN-HUI, TAIPEI TIMES

The organizers of the 228 Hand-in-Hand Rally yesterday launched a book and VCD documenting the spectacle of the world's longest human chain, which attracted nearly 2 million people across the country in protest against China's missile threat.

The book Hand-in-Hand to Protect Taiwan (牽手護台灣) was launched yesterday as a record of the historic event held on Feb. 28 to mark the country's displeasure at the nearly 500 missiles deployed against the nation.

Ruan Ming (阮銘), a political commentator, visiting professor at Tamkang University and a former special assistant to late general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party of China Hu Yaoban (胡耀邦), said the human-chain rally captured the historic moment at which the Taiwanese people chose to reject Chinese intimidation.

The rally, he said, was also the cornerstone for President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) victory in the March 20 election.

Ruan said the rally not only demonstrated a rejection of the "one China" principle, but also prevented the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT)-People First Party alliance, which identifies with the "one China" principle, from gaining power.

Poet Lee Ming-yung (李敏勇) said the 228 Hand-in-Hand Rally was an artful demonstration which encapsulated the passion of Taiwanese people.

The rally, which took its name from the infamous 228 Incident in 1947 in which tens of thousands of Taiwanese were slaughtered by KMT forces, represented the transformation of sorrow from the 228 Incident into the courage to recognize this part of history, Lee said.

"For a very long time during KMT rule, the Taiwanese people were told to forget history out of political considerations. The success of the 228 human-chain rally symbolizes the people's courage in seeking and confirming the importance of history," Lee said.

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