The nation opened a series of National Day celebrations with a military honor guard and marching band in Taipei yesterday, the 103rd birthday of the Republic of China (ROC).
About 400 members of the Ministry of National Defense Honor Guard and the Joint Military Marching Band performed in the plaza in front of the Presidential Office Building to great applause by the audience.
The honor guard demonstrated their rifle-spinning skills, while the band played music written for the armed forces.
Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times
The 10-minute show began with a march written by a band member and ended with the service members singing the anthem of the Whampoa Military Academy, marking its 90th anniversary.
Founded in Guangzhou Province in China in 1924, the academy was relocated in 1950 to Taiwan and renamed the Military Academy. It is seen as a symbol of the ROC armed forces, who fled to Taiwan in 1949 after a civil war against communist forces in China.
As part of the National Day celebrations on a cloudy day, a formation of seven AT-3 jet trainers flown by the Thunder Tiger Squadron aerobatics team streaked over the Presidential Office Building, trailing red, white and blue smoke in a symbol of the national flag.
Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times
Students from local high schools and colleges also gave musical and dance performances at the ceremony, which was attended by President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and many other government officials.
Among the foreign dignitaries in attendance were Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes, Burkinabe President Blaise Compaore, Honduran Vice President Lorena Enriqueta Herrera Estevez and Panamanian first lady Lorena Isabel Castillo de Varela.
First lady Chow Mei-ching (周美青) appeared in a knee-length fitted black dress by Taiwanese designer Austin Wu (吳日云), 24.
The dress featured a boat neckline, half-length sleeves and a floral pattern in pink and green curving upward from the hemline.
Wu, a graduate of Shih Chien University’s Department of Fashion Design, was the only designer from Taiwan to present a collection at New York Fashion Week this year.
He started his brand, Austin W, in 2011. His designs have also been showcased in Tokyo and Beijing.
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