Taiwan Independence Supporters Protest in Warning to Tsai

Elias Hubbard
October 23, 2018

The protest in central Taipei came as China increasingly pushes its cax0laim to the self-ruling democratic island and President Tsai Ing-wen struggles to appease Beijing and independence factions.

This is the first event of this magnitude to request a referendum on a formal declaration of independence, since the island became a democracy there are more than 20 years.

"Taiwanese people want an independent country and to be their own masters", he said. He said China has increased the pressure on Taiwan. "I want to loudly say no to China", Ping Cheng-wen, a demonstrator, told the Associated Press.

Another demonstrator at the rally in Taipei, Kuo Jung-min, an 85-year-old Presbyterian church pastor and Hebrew language professor at Taiwan Theological College and Seminary, said pro-unification advocates should move to China if they think it is a better place to live.

"The Taiwanese public must step out to have their voices heard and decide for themselves, otherwise China will decide for us", said alliance spokesman Yang Tsung-li (楊宗澧).

"We tell China to stop bully Taiwan", told the crowd the leader of the Alliance, Kuo Pei-horng, 63 years of age.

Engineer Rex Yang, 35, described Taiwan as an "orphan in the worldwide community".

China and Taiwan separated amid civil war in 1949 and China considers the island part of its territory to be taken control of by force if necessary. "The Taiwanese want Taiwan to become a normal country".

The organizer Formosa Alliance claims there were more than 120,000 people attending the event, while the United Daily News reported about 30,000 people turned up. She is an opponent of the policy of rapprochement with China, however, promised to provide the existing status quo between the two sides of the Strait and not give a reason for provoking Beijing.

Many pro-independence supporters had been highly critical of Tsai and the DPP for failing to uphold its pro-independence platform, he said.

The DPP publicly prohibited its officials and candidates from attending the Taipei rally, instead holding its own protest against China's "annexation" of Taiwan. Unhappy with the president's moderate stance on Taiwan's global status, their main demand is for a change to the referendum law to allow the public to vote on Taiwan's independence.

While Tsai's cautious approach to ties with Beijing has won support from the US, many in Taiwan, including many in her own party, are impatient for progress in translating the island's functional independence into de jure statehood.

"The DPP rally in Kaohsiung shows the party was anxious about losing the support of pro-independence groups and that it also opposes the mainland", said political commentator Lo Chih-chiang, who was an aide to Taiwan's former president Ma Ying-jeou.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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