The “Sing! China: Shanghai-Taipei Music Festival” scheduled for yesterday at National Taiwan University’s (NTU) athletic field came to an abrupt end following protests by pro-Taiwan independence groups and students at the school against the university’s decision to rent the venue for the event.
The site quickly descended into further dissarray, as members of pro-unification groups joined the fray.
Three students were reportedly injured by a member of the pro-unification Patriot Association (愛國同心會), police said.
Photo: Chou Yen-yu, Taipei Times
At the center of the furor was the school’s decision to rent the athletic field for the event, which was cosponsored by the Taipei Department of Cultural Affairs and the Chinese reality television show Sing! China.
Representatives of the school’s student council on Saturday said that the event had not only caused structural damage to the facilities, but also denied NTU students and sports teams use of the field and its track.
The festival is included in memorandums of understanding on cultural and arts events signed by Taipei and Shanghai, but posters for the event called the school “Taipei City Taiwan University (臺北市臺灣大學).”
Accusing China of using the concert as a “united front” tactic that infringed upon Taiwan’s interests, pro-Taiwan independence groups Free Taiwan Party and 908 Taiwan Republic Campaign first staged a protest outside the venue before purchasing tickets.
Scuffles broke out when they were barred from entering by event staffers as they shouted slogans such as: “This is the land of Taiwanese, why can’t Taiwanese with tickets get in?”
The protesters rammed the entrance at 4pm waving a “Republic of Taiwan” flag, sounding air horns and holding banners that read “Refuse to be China Taiwan University.”
About 30 minutes later, a crowd of NTU students entered the venue, holding placards reading “return the track and field” and tossing joss paper as they demanded an apology from the school and the Cultural Affairs Department.
Citing safety concerns by NTU, the emcee at 4:40pm announced the concert was over, prompting cheers from the student protesters, some of whom climbed onto the stage, shouting: “We are Taiwan National University, not China Taiwan University.”
As the crowd dispersed at about 5pm, verbal altercations erupted between some students and members of pro-unification groups, and three students were injured after being hit by a stick.
Police later found the alleged perpetrator, a 61-year-old man surnamed Hu (胡), and took him for questioning.
NTU official later condemned the violence and the event organizer’s “belittlement” of the nation’s premier university.
NTU secretary-general Lin Ta-te (林達德) said that it was “very inappropriate” for the event organizer to borrow the venue while belittling the university.
Additional reporting by Kuo An-chia
TAIWAN PROTECTION MEASURE: US Army General Charles Flynn would not say where in the Asia-Pacific the missiles would be sent, but only that they would arrive in 2024 The US is to send medium-range missiles including the Standard Missile 6 (SM-6) and Tomahawk to the Asia-Pacific next year to deter a Chinese attack on Taiwan, US military news Web site Defense One reported. The report cited comments US Army General Charles Flynn made during the annual Halifax International Security Forum on Nov. 19. “We have tested them and we have a battery or two of them today,” Flynn was quoted as saying. “In 24. We intend to deploy that system in your region. I’m not going to say where and when. But I will just say that we will
UNUSUAL UPTICK: There are more flu-like illnesses in northern China than in the past 3 years, but data from Beijing showed that known pathogens are responsible Responding to an uptick in respiratory illnesses in China, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) yesterday said it has instructed international airport and port quarantine centers to raise their alert levels, and plans to issue an alert to healthcare practitioners. The number of flu-like illnesses reported in northern China has been increasing for five consecutive weeks, and is higher than the same period in the past three years, CDC Deputy Director-General Philip Lo (羅一鈞) said. “According to the WHO’s latest statement, issued yesterday, information provided by Chinese government showed that the illnesses were mainly reported among children, and the illnesses were attributed
LOYALTY: The 10 active and retired soldiers betrayed the nation and its people by leaking and passing on military secrets to China, the High Prosecutors’ Office said Ten former and current military officers were yesterday indicted on charges of spying for China, including two who allegedly filmed themselves pledging loyalty to Beijing. The High Prosecutors’ Office requested life imprisonment for the suspects in light of the severity of the crime. The 10 active-duty and retired officers included members of the 601st Brigade of the Aviation Special Forces comprising attack helicopter squadrons and elite combat units in charge of defending northern Taiwan, including Taipei. The other suspects came from Huadong Defense Command, in charge of defending the eastern coast; Kinmen Defense Command, in charge of defending Kinmen and Matsu; and one
‘OPEN TO DIALOGUE’: Her alliance with Vice President William Lai is based on their commitment to preserve the nation’s freedom and democracy, Hsiao Bi-khim said Taiwan should “trust, but verify” reports that Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) denied that Beijing plans to invade Taiwan in 2027, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) vice presidential candidate Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴) told reporters yesterday. “We anticipate and we hope that Chairman Xi Jinping was sincere when he said there was no timetable” for bringing Taiwan under control by force, said Hsiao, who earlier this week resigned as the representative to the US to join the ticket of DPP nominee, Vice President William Lai (賴清德). Borrowing a phrase from former US president Ronald Reagan — which US President Joe Biden also used after