POLITICS: Millions join anti-China protest in Taiwan: organisers

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posted on Feb, 28 2004 @ 01:21 PM
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TAIWAN - In a huge anti-China protest, backed by the government, people joined hands to form a 500-kilometre (310-mile) human chain stretching the length of Taiwan. In 1949 after communists won the civil war in mainland China, Nationalists fled to Taiwan and the island has since been governed separately. Beijing insists the island be reunified with China, by force if necessary.
 

The high turnout for the government-backed protest highlighting the threat posed to the island from Chinese missiles was likely to boost the re-election chances of President Chen Shui-bian, analysts said.

There was no independent confirmation of the figures but the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) disputed the size of the turnout.

The show of strength was designed to galvanise Chen's supporters before the March 20 ballot, with polls showing him lagging behind his sole challenger, Lien Chan of the KMT.

Chen, of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), was at the organisers' headquarters at Miaoli, northern Taiwan, for the "Hand in Hand" demonstration. He linked hands with former KMT president and pro-independence campaigner Lee Teng-hui.

"This is a historic event crossing ethnic, geographic, partisan, gender and age boundaries. There is no minority or majority in Taiwan. Taiwan is an integral," he said.

"Let us hold our hands, a simple but warm act, to tell the world and all people who care about Taiwan that 'we love Taiwan and want peace'."

The protest, running from Keelung in the north to Pingtung in the south of the island, was called on the anniversary of February 28, 1947 when thousands of native Taiwanese were killed by KMT troops from the mainland in a bloody riot against the new rulers of China.

The episode poisoned relations between the KMT and native Taiwanese for decades.

Television pictures showed crowds at least 10 deep at points on the route through Taiwan as pro-government supporters joined hands at 2:28 pm (0628 GMT).

In the capital Taipei, thousands wearing "Yes Taiwan" caps gathered at the 2/28 peace memorial park, named after the 1947 incident, for speeches.

Taiwanese communities were also due to form human chains in Dallas, Houston, Seattle, Toronto and Vancouver, the organisers said.

The opposition KMT has accused the DPP of creating an ethnic divide and organised its own show of support with leader Lien part of a group carrying "peace torches" into a rally in the southern city of Kaohsiung.

The torches had been taken on a two-week jog around the island by supporters.

In a statement released before the rallies, Lien made his own appeal to heal wounds among the island's different ethnic groups. "Everyone on Taiwan is native Taiwanese sailing together through glory and humiliation and sharing the same destiny," he said.

Chen has called the island's first referendum to run alongside the presidential poll and an estimated 15 million voters will be asked whether the island should arm itself with more missiles and hold peace talks with Beijing.

Chen has toned down his pro-independence message in the face of opposition from home and abroad, but increased his attacks on China in the run-up to the polls.

Wu Tung-yeh, a professor of political science at National Chengchi University, said the rally would help the DPP campaign although it was too early to say if it would influence the polls.

"It is unlikely this rally will win over any of KMT's supporters. It may have some effect on neutral voters, but it is hard to tell how many they can win," Wu said.

Cheng Wen-tsan, a spokesman for the DPP, predicted the rally would catapult Chen into the lead of the closely fought contest.

"The target of the demonstration and the referendum is China, not the KMT. KMT has made a huge mistake by refusing to take part in this activity," Cheng said.

KMT spokesman Alex Tsai said the protest would have no effect on the vote on March 20.



[Edited on 28-2-2004 by Zion Mainframe]




posted on Feb, 29 2004 @ 10:25 PM
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Good for the people of Taiwan!

I'm amazed that no one has responded to this.
I guess its indicative of how the Western news media is ignoring this also.

I guess only those "15 million+/- people" of Taiwan understand the threat that China imposes on their freedom and continued separation from mainland China. Reminds me of those who still continually ignore the plight of the Tibetans.


But hey..........its not everyday that you have an island nation that has 500+/- Chinese missiles pointed at it, eh?




regards
seekerof



posted on Feb, 29 2004 @ 10:36 PM
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Love it! Either way this makes the boys in Peking squirm a little bit. Taiwan will prove to be a difficult meal unlike Hong Kong.



posted on Mar, 3 2004 @ 05:56 PM
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Originally posted by Seekerof
Good for the people of Taiwan!

I'm amazed that no one has responded to this.
I guess its indicative of how the Western news media is ignoring this also.

I guess only those "15 million+/- people" of Taiwan understand the threat that China imposes on their freedom and continued separation from mainland China. Reminds me of those who still continually ignore the plight of the Tibetans.


But hey..........its not everyday that you have an island nation that has 500+/- Chinese missiles pointed at it, eh?




regards
seekerof


I agree with you. There seems to be some sort of media blackout whenever it pertains to something rotten that the PRC is doing. A legitimate democracy wants to officially declare independence from the boobs in Beijing while being under the threat of annihilation from whome they would seek independence from, and the best our president can come up with if "I dont' want to see anyone rocking the boat". Where the hell is Reagan when you need him, he did'nt take that # from the PRC. The last time they started with the threats of invasion, he straight told them that if they touched Taiwan, that the US 6th Fleet would be up their a$$ the following day.

And another thing, when things were even more tense over there a few months ago, some of their senior military officials were making statements to their state controlled press like for example "If we backed Taiwan in its bid for indepence, they would vaporize L.A.". In this day and age where WMD and nuclear proliferation are on everyones mind, does'nt anyone find it kind of odd that there was not so much as a whisper of this on any of the major news outlets over here. Maby the big money movers and shakers here are afraid that if more people were made aware of this kind of #, then the Made in China products they are so heavily invested in would sit on the shelves collecting dust. It comes down to another case of choosing profit over principle. I'm sorry, but I don't think its right to be preaching democracy in the middle east (where it has the least likely chance of succeeding) while at the same time turning a blind eye to Taiwans troubles simply because it is economically inconvenient.

I hope some day in the future, we have an administration with the stones to support their democratic right to declare their independence from those communist ass holes, and stop feeding us this BS delusion that the China will come around to democracy while the PRC is in charge. And I can guarantee you that will not be accomplished without bloodshed.



posted on Mar, 3 2004 @ 07:04 PM
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Good post Crazyhorse I agree with you wholeheartedly.

My question is does this give any more credence to all the Russian fears we've been hearing about lately in ATS?



posted on Mar, 17 2004 @ 07:49 PM
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I get the feeling China won't be pleased about this. Its possible that China will attempt to reunify by force. On the other hand this could spark democratic reforms in China. This could also lead to more attention to the North/South Korea conflict.



posted on Mar, 17 2004 @ 07:52 PM
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I also wonder why in the world this wasn't on the front page of my newspaper. Naturally I am suspicious if China could some how be trying to supress Taiwans influence by keeping this queit.



posted on Mar, 17 2004 @ 07:55 PM
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This whole Tawain/China situation makes me nervous.

I know it is an extreme example I am giving, but worst cast senario, Tawain could be to WWIII what Serbia was to WWI.



posted on Mar, 17 2004 @ 07:56 PM
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i have a thread on this in the predictions thread. Its titled March 20 cause thats teh day of the refurendum





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