Two small Taiwanese groups at the far ends of the debate over relations with Beijing marked the National Day of the People’s Republic of China yesterday with flag raisings and flag burnings — opposite responses at a time of rising tension over the Taiwan Strait.
Oct. 1 marks the day that Mao Zedong (毛澤東) proclaimed the People’s Republic of China in 1949, with the defeated Republic of China government fleeing to Taiwan at the end of that year, where — after democratic reforms — it remains to this day, neither recognizing the other.
China’s national day is not officially marked in any way in Taiwan, which celebrates its National Day, the founding of the Republic of China, on Oct. 10.
Photo: Ko Yu-hao, Taipei Times
However, some small groups in Taiwan do mark China’s national day, with either pride at being Chinese or fury at Beijing’s threats against Taiwan, especially after China stepped up war games near Taiwan in August.
In a rural part of Tainan, the Taiwan People’s Communist Party gathered about 200 people, mostly older people, to sing China’s national anthem and raise the country’s flag on what the party referred to in a statement as “a sacred part of China’s territory.”
Lin Te-wang (林德旺), the chairman of the fringe party, which has no elected officials, said that China is not a threat, despite August’s large-scale military activities, which were condemned by all of Taiwan’s mainstream parties.
“Military exercises are good for Taiwan because they show the majesty of China’s military force internationally,” Lin, 67, said.
At the other end of the spectrum, the pro-independence Taiwan Statebuilding Party burned a Chinese flag yesterday on a boat off Taiwan’s south coast, in an area of sea where China staged its August drills, shouting slogans such as “protect Taiwan to the death.”
Party Chairman Chen Yi-chi (陳奕齊), while on the boat in the Taiwan Strait, said that burning the flag was not provocative.
“How can burning the flag be extreme? If you want to show your resistance to defending Taiwan now, if burning the flag is extreme, what will you do when the artillery fire comes?” Chen said.
AGGRESSION: China’s latest intrusions set a new benchmark for its ‘gray zone’ tactics and possibly a new pattern that it would attempt to normalize, a researcher said China’s latest military exercises represent a new challenge to Taiwan’s legal authority to demarcate its borders in the Taiwan Strait, a defense expert said, adding that the fleets in the latest exercises were likely the most powerful the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) ever assembled. The PLA conducted military exercises from Sunday last week to 6am on Friday, which encompassed large swathes of the western Pacific, including the Taiwan Strait and waters off the Philippines and Guam, National Policy Foundation associate research fellow Chieh Chung (揭仲) said on Friday. The Ministry of National Defense said that it detected 70 warship and 162 aircraft
DOMESTIC MARKET: To protect the livelihoods of local egg farmers, the government adopted a new method for releasing imported eggs, the agriculture minister said More than 54 million imported eggs will be disposed, as their expiration date has passed, Minister of Agriculture Chen Chi-chung (陳吉仲) said yesterday. Chen made the remarks at a news conference in Taipei, explaining the flow of imported eggs following recent controversies regarding the products. The ministry introduced a special egg import program to address a nationwide egg shortage earlier this year. However, controversies have risen in recent weeks. These included an accusation that the government helped some egg importing companies over others, eggs imported from Brazil that had an incorrect expiration date, and egg shipments from Brazil that were found
PACIFIC OCEAN: Defense experts have warned that the ‘Shandong,’ China’s second largest aircraft carrier, poses a serious threat to eastern Taiwan’s defenses The drills conducted by the Chinese aircraft carrier Shandong in the Western Pacific last week were more aimed at showcasing China’s military capabilities to the US rather than toward Taiwan, a Taiwanese defense expert said yesterday. Lin Yin-yu (林穎佑), an assistant professor at Tamkang University’s Graduate Institute of International Affairs and Strategic Studies, said the drills which involved dozens of warplanes sought to test China’s anti-access and area denial capabilities should the US and its allies attempt to interfere in a cross-strait conflict. Lin said that the latest Chinese drills coincided with a joint maritime exercise conducted by the US, South Korea
Thousands of bottles of Sriracha have been returned or destroyed after the discovery of excessive sulfur dioxide, a bleaching agent, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on Tuesday. About 12,600 bottles totaling 9,991.8kg of the hot sauce imported from the US by Emporium Corp (河洛企業) were flagged at the border for containing illegal levels of sulfur dioxide, the FDA said in its regular border inspection announcement. Inspectors discovered 0.5g per kilogram of the common bleaching agent and preservative, higher than the 0.03g permitted, it said. As it is the first time within six months the product has been flagged, Sriracha products from