Taiwanese independence advocates yesterday rallied to support the unveiling of the new American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) compound, while proponents of unification with China protested.
Taipei police and back-up units separated the groups on the road outside the compound in the city’s Neihu District (內湖) and secured the area for Taiwanese and US political figures attending the ceremony.
Pro-independence rally organizers estimated that 600 people participated, including people bused in from central and southern Taiwan.
They carried banners and shouted slogans calling for independence and enhanced military cooperation with the US to counter China’s belligerent threats.
“We are not protesting; we are here to celebrate the unveiling. The US will continue to help protect Taiwanese from China under the terms of the Taiwan Relations Act,” Taiwan Government Party chairman Peter Ku (古文發) said.
The compound sends a strong message to the world that Taiwan and the US are forging stronger bilateral links and that Washington is committed to defending Taiwan from military invasion by China, Taiwan Independence Party chairman and retired army colonel Tseng Miao-hung (曾淼泓) said.
“Our members support upgrading the AIT into the official US embassy and setting up more installations here to make Taiwan one of the US’ main political and military operational centers in the western Pacific,” Tseng added.
Taiwan Autonomy Alliance head Brian Qo (吳崑松) said his organization had prepared a congratulatory card with a letter expressing its gratitude and support, but police barricades prevented him from presenting it to AIT officials.
However, Lee Tung-hsing (李東興) of the Taiwan Independence Banner Squadron had a different message for the AIT.
“My organization is here to tell the US government to remove the Republic of China (ROC) political structure. It was the US military that assisted Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) and his ROC regime in its illegal occupation of Taiwan in the late 1940s. Taiwanese have had enough of this nonsense. Please return this Chinese ROC monstrosity back to China, as it is the US’ responsibility,” Lee said.
On the other side of the road, Chang An-le (張安樂) led his Chinese Unity Promotion Party (CUPP) and other pro-China groups in a protest against the compound unveiling, at which they displayed the “five star” national flag of China.
Chang and his supporters had a minor scuffle with police when they tried to present a “gift” to the AIT: a wooden plaque with the Chinese idiom xuan ya le ma (懸崖勒馬, “rein in the horse at the brink of a precipice”).
“We demand that the US government withdraw its military from Taiwan and the Ryukyu Islands ... because the US has acted like a bully and occupied these territories in dishonorable ways. Their bases in the region are blocking China’s access to the Pacific through the East China Sea,” the CUPP said in a statement.
SPEEDING ELETRIC VEHICLES: Available without license requirements, the low-cost vehicles, especially if illicitly modified, can often reach a dangerous speed The government should crack down on illegal electric bicycles and scooters, the non-profit Consumers’ Foundation said on Friday, citing research on the potentially dangerous speed of the vehicles. Electric bicycles and lightweight electric scooters have gained popularity as they do not require registration and riders do not need licenses, the foundation said, adding that as many as 40 percent of them can reach speeds exceeding the legal limit of 25kph for non-licensed two-wheelers. Some consumers also purchased legal electric vehicles and modified them to reach higher speeds, it said. “If the government does not step up efforts to confiscate these
‘RELIABLE PARTNER’: US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar praised the ‘Taiwan model,’ saying that the nation brought its spirit to its COVID-19 response The first memorandum of understanding (MOU) on health cooperation between the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the US Department of Health and Human Services was yesterday signed at the Centers for Disease Control in Taipei. The memorandum was signed between the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the US, by AIT Director Brent Christensen and Taiwan Council for US Affairs Chairperson Jen-ni Yang (楊珍妮). US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) witnessed the signing of the memorandum, designed to enhance the nations’
NEW CASE REPORTED: A man who returned from South Africa on a flight with the nation’s 460th and 461st cases has now tested positive for the disease The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday said that there is no need to test all arrivals to the nation for COVID-19, a policy the Executive Yuan supports. The center reported one new imported case, bringing the nation’s tally of confirmed cases to 477. The new case is a Taiwanese man in his 60s who on July 25 returned from South Africa, said Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is also the CECC’s spokesman. The man had returned to Taiwan on the same flight as cases Nos. 460 and 461, reported on July 27, Chuang said. On July 24,
Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) yesterday tweeted a welcome to Somaliland’s first representative to Taiwan, Mohamed Omar Hagi Mohamoud, who arrived on Friday. Mohamoud had “braved Chinese pressure” to take up his new post, Wu wrote. “The fact ‘sovereignty & friendship aren’t for sale’ deserves international recognition,” referring to a Somaliland media report earlier this month that Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi had rejected an offer by the Chinese government in exchange for ending its rapprochement with Taiwan. Wu also thanked the US National Security Council (NSC) for praising Taiwan-Somaliland ties. A council tweet on July 10 praised Taiwan