Thu, Oct 11, 2007 - Page 3 News List

Ma, KMT boycott national celebrations

IN CAHOOTS The DPP is oppressing the nation by `refusing to recognize the ROC,' the KMT presidential candidate said at two rival Double Ten celebrations

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

Shih Ming-teh, right, leader of last fall's campaign to unseat President Chen Shui-bian, listens to National Security Bureau Director Shi Hwei-yow while attending national day celebrations at the Presidential Office. Shih had been invited by Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng, the organizer of this year's event.

PHOTO: CNA

Accusing the government of colluding with Beijing to suppress the Republic of China (ROC), Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday joined fellow party members in boycotting the government's Double Ten National Day celebrations by holding a flag-raising ceremony in Taipei County.

"The Chinese Communist Party has repressed our national flag at international events, while the Democratic Progressive Party [DPP] is doing the same by refusing to recognize the ROC," Ma said in a speech at the ceremony at Banciao Stadium yesterday morning.

"The two parties have joined forces in suppressing the ROC. I, however, will spare no effort to defend the ROC," Ma said.

Senior KMT members, including party Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung (吳伯雄), and New Party Chairman Yu Mu-ming (郁慕明) attended the ceremony, waving national flags and singing the national anthem.

"The celebrations at the Presidential Office are ignoring the nation's title, which is the Republic of China. Since the government doesn't care about the ROC, the Taipei County Government had to assume the responsibility of celebrating the country's birthday," Taipei County Commissioner Chou Hsi-wei (周錫瑋) said.

Ma later led party members at another flag-raising ceremony, presented by the Taipei City Government, at which Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌), who is also a KMT member, greeted Ma and other party members in front of the city hall.

After leading the crowd in chanting the slogan "As long as I am here, the ROC will stand strong!" Ma said President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) failed to show appreciation for the country.

"His power and all the glory originates from the ROC, but he has refused to recognize this title at critical moments. We will never follow in his steps nor abandon the ROC when it is being suppressed," Ma said. "The ROC will not collapse as long as I am still here."

Wu also accused the government of failing to celebrate the 96th birthday of the ROC, and called on voters to express their disappointment in the government by voting out the DPP in March.

"Let's shift the power to another party next year. I think the National Double Ten Day celebrations will be much better then," Wu said.

To highlight the difference between its event and the central government's celebrations, the city government hung neon lights spelling out "Celebrating the birthday of the ROC" in Chinese characters on top of Taipei City Hall.

Thousands of people attended the city's ceremony, and later joined Ma and Hau in a 30-minute jog around the city hall.

"We want to tell the world that we are proud of the ROC," Hau said.

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