Protesters yesterday threw flowers at the motorcade of Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait Chairman Chen Yunlin (陳雲林) in an attempt to draw attention to Beijing’s crackdown on pro-democracy activists and rights lawyers.
Instead of jasmine, which has come to symbolize the protests that have swept across north Africa and the Middle East, protesters waved and handed out white chrysanthemums because jasmine is not in season, organizers said.
The protesters also wore white headbands with the words “Respect, Jasmine, Peace” printed on them and called on China to respect human rights, democracy and the right to assembly.
Photo: Sam Yeh, AFP
A retired civil servant at the protest said that “of course” he supported pro-democratic protests in China, adding that they could pave the way for more peaceful relations with Taiwan.
“We don’t have anything against the Chinese people — it’s the government we are concerned with,” said the man, who did not give his name.
Outside E-DA World, where Chen is staying, representatives from pro-independence groups gathered together in the afternoon and sang Mo Li Hua, a popular Chinese folk song about jasmine, while waving the white flowers in the direction of the hotel.
During Chen’s first day in Taiwan on Monday, protesters including Democratic Progressive Party politicians attempted to deliver plastic flowers and a box of jasmine juice to the hotel where the Chinese delegation was staying.
Demonstrators attempted to do so again yesterday, but were quickly stopped by police.
The number of people from Hong Kong applying for residency in Taiwan last year rose 41 percent from a year earlier to 5,858, National Immigration Agency statistics showed. The statistics also showed that 600 applications were filed by Hong Kong residents in the first quarter of this year — three times the number filed in the same period last year — with applicants apparently not deterred by the COVID-19 pandemic. Just one day after it was reported that the Chinese government plans to enact new national security laws in Hong Kong, inquiries regarding immigration to Taiwan grew 10-fold, a Hong Kong-based immigration
‘BEGINNING OF THE END’: Democracy advocate Joshua Wong urged Hong Kongers to stand up and fight, and let the Chinese government know that they will not cave Hong Kong protesters yesterday battled with riot police in busy downtown areas, showing their opposition toward China’s dramatic move to crack down on dissent in the biggest demonstration since the coronavirus swept through the territory in January. Police deployed a water cannon and fired tear gas in the Causeway Bay shopping area after hundreds of protesters had gathered to oppose new national security legislation from China. Police warned the crowd they were taking part in an illegal gathering, and later said in a statement that “rioters threw umbrellas, water bottles and other objects at them.” At least 120 people were arrested,
‘TAIWAN IS SAFE’: As there have been no new local cases for 42 days, people should feel free to travel around the nation — as long as they follow disease prevention rules No new cases of COVID-19 were reported yesterday and only 20 of the people hospitalized after testing positive are still being treated in hospitals, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday in Pingtung County’s Kenting (墾丁) as he promoted a “new disease prevention lifestyle” for the nation. As yesterday was the 42nd consecutive day with no new domestic cases, and experts consider 28 consecutive days with no domestic case — the span of two incubation periods — a sign that a community is relatively safe, Taiwan is safe, said Chen, who heads the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC),
SMOOTHER TRANSIT: Japan Airlines reportedly planned to land the flight at Haneda Airport, but changed it to Narita for direct flights to Taiwan The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday thanked Japan for allowing 94 Taiwanese on a chartered plane evacuating others stranded in Russia, where COVID-19 cases are rising and many international flights have been canceled. Ninety-four Taiwanese exchange students and expats, as well as two Russian spouses, arrived at Narita International Airport in Japan yesterday morning on a charter flight operated by Japan Airlines, before taking a transfer flight to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport last night, ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) said. As of press time last night, Russia had reported more than 362,000 cases of COVID-19, including more than 3,800 deaths. The government had