A candlelight vigil will be held in Taipei tomorrow to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre, which capped weeks of pro-democracy protests in Beijing in 1989.
Chinese troops and tanks fired on civilians in the square on June 4; estimates of the death toll range from several hundred to thousands. The massacre remains a taboo subject in China.
For the fourth straight year, the event will be held at Liberty Square in front of Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall.
Photo: Lo Pei-der, Taipei Times
It will include speeches, videos, music performances and a candlelight ceremony, according to a Taiwanese student group promoting democracy in China, one of the main organizers of the event, along with the New School for Democracy and the Taiwan Association for China Human Rights.
Some Chinese activists who participated in the 1989 student-led protests in Beijing will speak at the event, including Wuer Kaixi, Yang Jianli (楊建利) and Tong Yi (童屹), said Chou Ching-chang, a spokesman for the organizing group.
Participants will also voice support for 19 political dissidents jailed by the Chinese government, including Chinese Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo (劉曉波), human rights lawyer Guo Feixiong (郭飛雄), professor Hao Jian (郝建) and Tibetan writer Dolma Kyab, Chou said.
The vigil organizers hope to expand support for Chinese political prisoners this year, especially since the Beijing government has jailed scores of human rights activists, writers and others in the weeks leading up to the Tiananmen anniversary, he said.
“We hope to draw a larger crowd this year to show the Chinese government that it is impossible to silence the people with state violence,” Chou said.
“If the Chinese people are silenced, we will speak for them,” he said.
At tomorrow’s event, different groups will also call on Taiwan’s government to make human rights protection a “precondition” for cross-strait exchanges and use this opportunity to reflect on the human rights condition in Taiwan, Chou said.
Chen Wei-ting (陳為廷) and Dennis Wei (魏揚), two key figures of the student-led Sunflower Movement, are also scheduled to address the crowd, he added.
Chou said his group hopes to join forces with the Sunflower movement, as leaders of the movement have also been outspoken about the Tiananmen massacre, which is also known as the June 4th Incident, in Chinese.
The Sunflower movement refers to the series of protests organized by a coalition of students and civic groups from March 18 to April 10 to protest the Taiwan government’s handling of the cross-strait service trade pact signed in June last year and other issues.
People planning to attend the Liberty Square event are being encouraged to wear black to the vigil, as in past years, the organizers said.
‘FAILED TACTICS’: A lawmaker said Beijing’s actions in Hong Kong and Taiwan’s success at boosting its ties internationally have boosted identification as Taiwanese Self-identification as “Taiwanese and Chinese,” or solely as “Chinese,” has dropped to record lows, while 63.3 percent of the public regard themselves as Taiwanese, a survey released on Tuesday by National Chengchi University’s Election Study Center showed. Respondents identifying as Taiwanese and Chinese dropped to 31.4 percent, while those identifying solely as Chinese fell to 2.7 percent, the survey showed. The results reflect changes in attitudes since 1994 among Taiwanese toward independence and unification with China, as well as self-identification trends since 1992, commenters said. Support for independence was 25.8 percent, while about 5 percent of respondents said that they want the nation
ONLY EXCEPTIONS: The mayors of the two largest cities voiced concerns over hidden cases, while all other local governments are to follow eased CECC guidelines All local governments, with the exception of Taipei and New Taipei City, are to allow dine-in services at restaurants after the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Friday announced that it would on Tuesday lower a nationwide COVID-19 alert to level 2. The center on July 8 allowed the resumption of dining at restaurants nationwide — despite keeping the alert level at 3. At the time, this prompted all cities and counties, except Penghu Country, to keep local dine-in bans in place. Following Friday’s CECC announcement that COVID-19 prevention measures would be further relaxed, the Taipei and New Taipei City governments
‘NOT IMPOSSIBLE’: Acceptance to the UN would end the nation’s troubles, but it would be impossible to achieve without US backing, Legislative Speaker You Si-kun said The US might recognize Taiwan if war breaks out in the Taiwan Strait, Legislative Speaker You Si-kun (游錫堃) said yesterday while discussing politics with former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁). Speaking on Chen’s program on Smile Radio, You reminisced about his agrarian childhood, studies, the founding of the Democratic Progressive Party in 1986 and his eight years as Yilan County commissioner. Chen’s appointment of You as premier in February 2002 marked several firsts, as he was Taiwan’s youngest premier, as well as the first from a farming background and first democratically elected county leader to hold the office. Asked to share his views on
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday rejected the claim Beijing has been making about Taiwan’s status, while thanking US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman for raising concerns about Taiwan during her meeting with Chinese officials. Sherman met with Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) on a visit to Tianjin on Sunday and Monday, with Wang urging Washington not to infringe on China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Taiwan is part of China, a fundamental fact that would never change, and China has the right to take any action needed to restrain Taiwanese independence, Wang said, urging Washington to abide