At least 2 million people yesterday joined together to form an island-long human chain to protest China's military threats and to give the world a clear message that the people of Taiwan want peace, not war, organizers of the rally said.
If the number is accurate, it would set a new record for the size of a demonstration in Taiwan. The participants of the human chain linked hands at 2:28pm yesterday and chanted slogans such as "Love Peace. Oppose missiles."
President Chen Shui-bian (
"More than 1 million people have joined hands together to form a democratic great wall. This is a historic attempt by the people to show the world their love for Taiwan and the power that people have to write history with their own hands," Chen said at the rally yesterday.
Chen sent his regards to the participants, saying they had made this event possible, despite the doubts of some that the event would be successful.
Chen said the people of Taiwan had used the mildest, most joyful and dignified way to proclaim their solidarity and determination for peace to the world.
"However, this is just the beginning. We must continue our effort and cast referendum ballots on election day to maintain Taiwan's security," Chen said.
Lee said "seeing a big spectacle like this, in which more than 1 million people have come out to show their love for Taiwan, is the most touching moment I have ever witnessed in my life."
"Such is the power of the people, and this is a victory for the people of Taiwan," Lee said.
Although he appeared to be ailing slightly, Lee said that "the success of the 228 Hand-in-Hand Rally is the people's affirmation of Taiwan's national identity and a rejection of China's missile threats."
The massive human chain began in the north at Hoping Island near Keelung, and stretched 500km through 18 cities and counties in western Taiwan, ending at Changlung in Chiatung township, Pingtung County. The characters for "Hoping" and "Changlung" mean peace and prosperity.
Analyzing the event's influence on Chen's re-election prospects, Cheng Wen-tsan (
"This is also a very big victory for the DPP, as the party has emerged to represent mainstream opinion, as shown by the success of this massive rally. At this moment, we want to ask where the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) has been?" Cheng said.
The event also attracted numerous foreign reporters to Taiwan to cover the human chain.
Estonian reporter Mart Laane-mets said "through the event, people feel more and more that they are the bosses of the country, not politicians nor some party."
"When I saw a sign in the rally which said `In 1991, Bush says yes to Baltic States, in 2004, Bush says yes to Taiwan,' I, as a citizen of Estonia, felt very touched and proud and I hope the Baltic experience will be successful for Taiwan as well," Lannemets said.
On Aug. 23, 1989, the three Baltic states, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia formed a 2 million-person human chain covering 600km to protest the former Soviet Union's occupation. Following the human chain protest, the three countries successfully held referendums to declare their independence from Russia.
Related Photos at Taiwan News Page
Also See Stories:
Remembering 228: Human chain bears message of peace
Remembering 228: Kaohsiung County surprises organizers
Remembering 228: Families and dogs bring festive atmosphere to Taipei
Remembering 228: Taipei County forms 22km-long link in the human chain
Remembering 228: Japanese Christians join Indonesians in Tainan County
Hearts and hugs mark blue-camp rally
UNDETERRED: The US chip designer’s plan showed that Taiwan remains attractive for investment by global companies despite cross-strait tensions, Wang Mei-hua said US graphics chip designer Nvidia Corp is planning to relocate its Hong Kong-based logistics center to Taiwan, Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua (王美花) said on Wednesday. The government had been in discussions with Nvidia regarding tax incentives to facilitate the move since last year, Wang said in an interview with the Central News Agency, adding that the two sides had reached a consensus. Wang did not provide details about the timetable for the move or the planned tax arrangements for Nvidia. The relocation would boost the local economy, as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) is a major supplier of graphics processing
Kaohsiung police last week busted a money laundering operation suspected of seeking to interfere in tomorrow’s local elections. The operation was allegedly headed by a man surnamed Lee (李), who had received NT$9.5 billion (US$306.18 million) from China over the past six months, Kaohsiung police said yesterday, adding that Lee’s ring is suspected to be part of a larger Chinese effort to interfere in the elections and support pro-China candidates. Officers arrested Lee, 35, and his girlfriend, searched his mansion, and seized the money he had allegedly received from China and three luxury vehicles, police said. The operation was disguised as an online
‘NEWEST’: The company’s Arizona plant is to produce 5-nanometer chips in the initial stage and would later manufacture 3-nanometer chips, Morris Chang said Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) founder Morris Chang (張忠謀) yesterday confirmed that the company plans to produce its most advanced 3-nanometer chips in the US as part of the company’s phase 2 plan at its plant in Phoenix, Arizona. The 91-year-old entrepreneur, who has been appointed as Taiwan’s envoy to APEC six times, yesterday morning held a news conference at the Presidential Office Building to discuss his delegation’s accomplishments at this year’s APEC Economic Leaders’ Week in Bangkok, which ended on Saturday. He was asked whether TSMC has plans to build advanced chips in the US. “TSMC’s plant in Arizona is
SURRENDER PLEDGE: Prosecutors said Hsiang Te-en was not charged with treason or contravening the National Security Act, because evidence had been removed The Kaohsiung District Prosecutors’ Office yesterday charged army Colonel Hsiang Te-en (向德恩) with corruption, accusing him of pledging allegiance to China and receiving payment from Chinese operatives to work as a spy. Prosecutors asked a court to sentence Hsiang to 12 years in prison. Hsiang is head of the Kaohsiung-based Army Infantry Training Command’s Operations Research and Development Division. He allegedly signed a “pledge of surrender” and promised to “serve, as best he may, in his office for the benefits of the motherland in the event of war across the [Taiwan] Strait,” the office said. Hsiang could not be charged with contraventions of