Fri, Oct 13, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Cross-Strait Relations: Su Beng’s 100th birthday to be celebrated in front of Presidential Office Building

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Veteran Taiwanese independence advocate Su Beng yesterday attends a news conference held by his educational foundation in Taipei.

Photo: Chu Pei-hsiung, Taipei Times

Details are being finalized for a gala in Taipei next month to mark the 100th birthday of long-time Taiwan independence advocate Su Beng (史明), cultural groups and civic society alliances said yesterday.

At yesterday’s briefing, Su urged people to support President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) for a second term in office, “because she can provide the leadership to carry through the reforms Taiwan needs to make progress toward a free, democratic society.”

A respected writer and a one-time armed revolutionary leader, Su is to turn 100 on Nov. 6 and plans are underway for a gala in his honor on Nov. 5 on Taipei’s Ketagalan Boulevard in front of the Presidential Office Building.

“Taiwanese people have fought for a long time to oust the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), a foreign occupying force putting Taiwan under its colonial rule. People have made sacrifices in pursuit of freedom and democracy... therefore we must not allow the KMT colonial regime to come back into power again,” Su said.

However, Taiwan is not yet a sovereign, independent nation, Su said, adding: “For this, I must apologize to the young people, that activists and fighters of my generation did not succeed in our struggle to bring about an independent Taiwan.”

“After World War II, countries big and small fought liberation wars and overthrew the yoke of colonial rule, gaining independence,” Su said. “It was a grand movement for the liberation and freedom of many peoples and nationalities.”

“Unfortunately, we missed the bus at that time. So the job is not yet done and we still have work to do to achieve our goal of Taiwan independence,” Su said. “We have to finish the revolution and liberate Taiwanese, because we are of a completely different nationality from Chinese.”

Beside honoring Su, the gala party is also to highlight Taiwanese traditional arts and culture, with room for exhibitions by various organizations, organizers said, adding that commemorative items are to be sold, with the proceeds going to the Su Beng Education Foundation (史明教育基金會).

Foundation chairwoman Huang Min-hung (黃敏紅) said the event would have a carnival-like atmosphere, with Taiwanese martial arts, a puppet theater, music by student bands, dance presentations by art troupes, and performances by well-known folk singer and yueqin master Chen Ming-chang (陳明章) and others.

More than 60 cultural groups and civic society organizations, from Taiwan and abroad have given their support to the event, she said, adding that many overseas Taiwanese would come from Japan, the US, Canada, Europe, and elsewhere to pay their respects to Su.

An influential figure in the Taiwanese independence and nationalist movements, Su had a colorful career, joining the Chinese Communist Party to fight the Japanese army during WWII, then leaving China to found the Taiwan Independence Revolutionary Armed Force (台灣獨立革命武裝隊) in 1950 to attempt to overthrow the KMT regime.

Su in 1952 left Taiwan to escape arrest and went into exile in Japan, returning to Taiwan in 1993 after the lifting of martial law.

Beside his role as an armed revolutionary leader, he was best known for publishing Taiwan’s 400-Year History (台灣人四百年史), which was first released in Japanese in 1962 and described Taiwan’s history and its peoples, and advocated making Taiwan an independent nation-state and a just society with equitable distribution of wealth.

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