Carrying the torch for Taiwan

President Chen gives a speech outside the Presidential Building UN for Taiwan Day 24 Oct 2007

This morning a crowd of several thousand people turned out in front of the Presidential Building for the beginning of the UN for Taiwan torch relay. President Chen Shui-bian gave a speech talking about the importance of Taiwan entering the UN using the name Taiwan. 

President Chen and Vice-President Lu hold the torch outside the Presidential Building Taiwan for UN Day 24 Oct 2007

President Chen and Vice-President Annette Lu held up the torches and set off to mark the start of the relay. According to an article in today's Taipei Times they were to run down Ketagalan Boulevard and hand the torches on to Frank Hsieh and Su Tseng-chang. From where I was standing they just disappeared into the crowd and I never saw Hsieh or Su.

Carrying the UN for Taiwan banner down Ketagalan Boulevard in Taipei 24 oct 2007

The crowds followed the torch down Ketagalan Boulevard. The mood was happy and festive.

police bmw motorbike directing the traffic in Taipei for UN for Taiwan torch relay

Police directed the traffic.  

ROC flags fluttering outside the Legislative Yuan 24 October 2007

I snapped the ROC flags fluttering outside the Legislative Yuan. Unfortunately Taiwan is still stuck with a flag that represents the historical ROC. Taiwan really needs a new flag that represents the modern and democratic nation. For some information about what a Taiwanese flag might look like check out this page, an editorial from the Taipei Times and this Wikipedia article.  

KMT members supporting unification outside the Control Yuan 24 Oct 2007

A small group of KMT members Chinese Unificationist Party members [corrected after comment from Poagao] were standing outside the Control Yuan. They were holding signs saying 要入聯,先統一 (Want to enter the UN, first unify). A small scuffle broke out between the men and those holding opposing views. Their opinion represents a very small minority as is evidenced by their small numbers in comparison to the huge crowd supporting "UN for Taiwan".  

Overall it was great to participate in this event. "UN for Taiwan" seems to have captured the spirit of the public here in Taiwan.  

*More photos at flickr.  

9 thoughts on “Carrying the torch for Taiwan

  1. great article David. great reporting with excellent photo work. good thing you were there to capture this event. you should consider posting it to nowpublic.com

  2. Nice work. I heard that the torch is supposed to be heading around Taiwan over the next few days. You don’t happen to know the full schedule, do you? I’d love to check it out when it comes through my corner of the island but I’ve no idea when that’ll be.

  3. I think the “KMT Members” in your photo are actually members of the Chinese Unification Promotion Association, aka the “Chinese Unificationist Party.” Just FYI.

  4. Interesting piece about an interesting event.

    Do you think events like this can make a difference, or is it more about slowly building awareness, both locally and internationally, for the Taiwanese cause?

  5. I think the campaign has been successful in building very strong support from the Taiwanese public. The KMT acknowledged this by starting their proposal for an alternative referendum. They couldn’t avoid the fact that most people in Taiwan want Taiwan in the UN. The KMT can only argue about the details.

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