More than 10,000 people yesterday flocked to Kaohsiung’s Pier-2 Art Center to show their support for defeated Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Kaohsiung mayoral candidate Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁), whose popularity appears on the rise after his loss in the Nov. 24 mayoral race.
Chen’s office said that the original idea for the event, which Chen proposed in one of his recent online conversations with netizens, was simply to get together with his supporters and treat them to a cup of coffee, to cheer them up after seeing him lose to Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Kaohsiung mayor-elect Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜).
Han is the first KMT member to win a Kaohsiung mayoral race since 1998, ending two decades of DPP governance in a traditional pan-green camp stronghold. He is to take office on Dec. 25.
Chen originally feared that only a handful of people would sign up for the event, but it attracted 9,967 registrations, his office said, adding that the eventual turnout was more than 10,000.
Some people started lining up from noon to be the first to receive coffee. Due to the large number of people who arrived afterward, Chen’s staff had to divide the line into four so as not to inconvenience other visitors to the center.
The event lasted from 2:30pm to 5pm at the center’s No. 10 warehouse and featured instrumental and vocal performances, including two by Chen, who sang Faye Wong’s (王菲) Red Bean (紅豆) and Take On Me by Norwegian band A-ha.
“During the campaign, I traveled across Kaohsiung, visiting fishing villages in remote areas and Aboriginal communities up in the mountains to ‘breath the same air’ as the city’s residents,” Chen said in a brief speech.
Kaohsiung is the place he is willing to risk his life to protect, Chen added, urging his supporters to “fall in love” with the city and embrace Han’s supporters.
“We should be humbler in the face of democracy and more tolerant in the face of elections,” he said.
Asked about his next move, Chen, who resigned as a legislator early last month to focus on his campaign, said that he entered politics to achieve justice and equality in society, and he intends to use the support he has gathered to help more people.
“So where is my next stop? My next stop will be in people’s hearts,” Chen said, denying speculation that he plans to run for the post of DPP chairperson left vacant after President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) stepped down on election night as it became apparent that the party had suffered huge losses in the elections.
Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) is aware that Beijing’s treatment of Hong Kong has weakened any possible sentiment for a “one country, two systems” arrangement for Taiwan, and has instructed Chinese Communist Party (CCP) politburo member Wang Huning (王滬寧) to develop new ways of defining cross-strait relations, Japanese news magazine Nikkei Asia reported on Thursday. A former professor of international politics at Fu Dan University, Wang is expected to develop a dialogue that could serve as the foundation for cross-strait unification, and Xi plans to use the framework to support a fourth term as president, Nikkei Asia quoted an anonymous source
A senior US senator on Monday questioned the willingness of some US allies to help defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion. Although Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) expects the US and Japan to respond in a war in the Taiwan Strait, he was “a little less confident what our other allies would do,” US Senator John Cornyn said. Australia and New Zealand have voiced support for Taiwan, but it “is a far cry from committing troops to repel an invasion,” Cornyn said during a discussion on China, Russia and the state of US military readiness at a forum hosted
TOURISM BOOST: The transportation system could help attract more visitors to the area, as the line is to connect multiple cultural sites, a city councilor said Residents in New Taipei City’s Ankeng District (安坑) said the local light rail system might have a positive influence, but raised questions about its practicality. The Ankeng light rail system, which is to commence operations after the Lunar New Year holiday, would cut travel time for commuters from Ankeng to downtown Taipei or New Taipei City by 15 to 20 minutes, the city government said. According to the initial plan, there would be one train every 15 minutes during peak time and additional interval trains would run between the densely populated Ankang Station (安康) and Shisizhang Station (十 四張). To encourage people to
CHAMPION TREES: The team used light detection and ranging imaging to locate the tree, and found that it measured a height of 84.1m and had a girth of 8.5m A team committed to finding the tallest trees in the nation yesterday said that an 84.1m tall Taiwania cryptomerioides tree had been named the tallest tree in Taiwan and East Asia. The Taiwan Champion Trees, a team consisting of researchers from the Council of Agriculture’s Taiwan Forestry Research Institute and National Cheng Kung University (NCKU), in June last year used light detection and ranging (LiDAR) imaging to find the giant tree, numbered 55214, upstream of the Daan River (大安溪). A 20-member expedition team led by Rebecca Hsu (徐嘉君), an assistant researcher at the Taiwan Forestry Research Institute, set out to find the