Flag raisings, burnings in Taiwan as China marks national day

Published October 2, 2022
Members of the pro-independence Taiwan Statebuilding Party put gasoline on a China flag on boat trip in the Taiwan Strait in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, October 1. —  Reuters
Members of the pro-independence Taiwan Statebuilding Party put gasoline on a China flag on boat trip in the Taiwan Strait in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, October 1. — Reuters

TAINAN: Two small Taiwanese groups at far ends of the debate over relations with Beijing marked China’s national day on Saturday with flag raisings and flag burnings, very opposite responses at a time of rising tension over the Taiwan Strait.

Oct 1 marks when Mao Zedong 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 and where it remains to this day, neither recognising the other.

China’s national day is not officially marked in any way in democratically-governed Taiwan, which celebrates its national day, the founding of the Republic of China, on Oct 10.

But some small groups in Taiwan do mark China’s national day, with either pride at being Chinese or fury at Beijing’s threats against the island, especially after China staged war games near Taiwan in August.

In a rural part of Tainan in the south, the Taiwan People’s Communist Party gathered about 200 people, mostly elderly, to sing China’s national anthem and raise the country’s flag on what the party referred to in a news release as “a sacred part of China’s territory”.

Lin Te-wang, the chairman of the party which has no elected officials and is very fringe, said that China was no threat, despite the recent war games which were condemned by all of Taiwan’s mainstream parties.

Published in Dawn, October 2nd, 2022

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