Taiwan is to celebrate its 109th anniversary of the Republic of China on October 10, 2020 – Double Ten National Day.
President Tsai Ing-wen will emphasize military modernization in a major speech on Saturday.
About 50,000 people attended a celebration on the eve of Double Ten National Day at Keelung Harbor yesterday, while the main events today are to be held in Taipei and Tainan.
In Keelung, President Tsai Ing-wen said that Taiwan has successfully held the COVID-19 pandemic at bay and is helping other countries do the same.
Amid general economic decline worldwide, the nation’s economy remains strong, an achievement that is due to the collective effort of all Taiwanese, Tsai said.
“We hope that we will continue to provide a stabilizing force on international affairs,” she said.
At 8:55am in front of the Presidential Office Building in Taipei today the Miaoli County-based Beiguan Bayin troupe are to perform, followed by a parade of the Ministry of National Defense’s Honor Guard, the Military Police’s Rapid Response Company, the Taipei First Girls’ High School band, as well as personnel from the National Police Agency and the National Airborne Service Corps.
Twenty-one representatives of people who have made significant contributions to COVID-19 prevention efforts would lead the national anthem alongside the Taipei Medical University Sing Song Chorus, event organizers said.
Following speeches by Tsai, Legislative Speaker You Si-kun and overseas compatriots representative Minly Sung, 100 contributors to pandemic prevention would arrive on Humvees, organizers said.
F-16V jets and the Thunder Tigers aerobatics team are to conclude the morning’s events in Taipei with a flyby, organizers said.
Tainan is to host a huge fireworks display in the evening.
The Tainan City Government said that 27,354 fireworks launched from Yuguang Island in Anping District would light up the sky over the city for about 33 minutes from 8pm.
About 200,000 people are expected to attend, the city said.
Four main viewing areas have been set up, three in Anping and one in South District, it said.
For people who do not want to be among large crowds, there are six alternative locations from where the fireworks would be clearly visible: Sihcao Dajhong Temple, Orthodox Luermen Shengu Temple, Luerhmen Tian Ho Temple, Longshan Temple, Wannian Temple and Wan Huang Temple, it said.
Special traffic regulations would be enforced on roads leading to the viewing sites, Tainan Bureau of Transportation Director-General Wang Ming-te said.
By Huang Hsin-po and Jake Chung
Taiwan to strengthen defences as China tensions escalate
President Tsai Ing-wen on Saturday promised to strengthen Taiwan’s defences and work more closely with regional partners on security as she called for ‘meaningful dialogue’ with China, which claims the island as its own.
In a speech to mark Taiwan’s National Day, Tsai said the government would continue to modernise the island’s defence capabilities and enhance its capacity for asymmetric warfare to “deal with military expansion and provocation from the other side of the Taiwan Strait”. Asymmetric warfare is designed to make any Chinese attack difficult and costly, for example with smart mines and portable missiles.
She also stressed the need for dialogue across the strait to reduce tension.
“As long as the Beijing authorities are willing to resolve antagonisms and improve cross-strait relations, while parity and dignity are maintained, we are willing to work together to facilitate meaningful dialogue,” she said.
“Maintaining stability in cross-strait relations is in the best interests of both sides. We are committed to upholding cross-strait stability, but this is not something Taiwan can shoulder alone; it is the joint responsibility of both sides.”
Self-ruled Taiwan, claimed by China as its own territory, has come under increasing pressure from Beijing, which has stepped up air force activity near the island in the past few weeks including crossing the Taiwan Strait’s sensitive midline that normally serves as an unofficial buffer zone.
China says it is responding to “collusion” between Washington and Taipei, angered at the United States’ growing support for the island.
According to an outline of her speech, as described to Reuters by a source briefed on its contents, Tsai will say that only solid determination and strength can guarantee security and maintain regional peace.
Tsai, re-elected by a landslide in January on a promise to stand up to China, will emphasise military modernisation and the acceleration of “asymmetric warfare” capabilities, which refers to making any Chinese attack difficult and costly, for example with smart mines and portable missiles.
The US, which, like most countries, has no formal diplomatic ties with Taipei though it is its strongest global backer, has been pushing Taiwan to modernise its military so the country can become a “porcupine“, small but hard to attack.
Tsai has sought to work more closely with like-minded democracies, and she will say that Taiwan will “strengthen its security partnership role with surrounding countries” while protecting its democracy and sovereignty.
Taiwan will also “proactively participate” in the building of a future new international and regional order, she will say.
On relations with China, Tsai will say that Taiwan will stick to its principles and is “determined” to ensure stability, but that this is the responsibility of both parties.
Indian media is free, MEA tells China after embassy objects to ‘National Day of Taiwan’ reportage
A day after the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi objected to Indian media reporting on ‘National Day of Taiwan’, the Ministry of External Affairs reminded the Chinese that Indian media is a “free” entity and they can report on any issue they deem “fit”.
“There is a free media in India and reports as it sees fit,” Anurag Srivastava, MEA spokesperson, told the media during the weekly briefing on Thursday.
The Chinese embassy spokesperson Ji Rong reiterated Beijing’s position on the issue of Taiwan saying that any idea of Taiwan’s independence is just “wishful thinking” and said that the world, including India accepts the “One-China” policy.
“Responding DPP authority: There is only one #China in the world.#Taiwan is inalienable part of China’s territory. One-China policy is int’l universal consensus&long-standing position of #Indian govt,which China appreciates. It’s wishful thinking to seek any “Taiwan independence”…,” she tweeted.
On Wednesday a war of words broke out between Taiwan and China when the Chinese embassy in New Delhi decided to write an open letter to the Indian media not to “recognise” Taiwan by celebrating or marking “National Day of Taiwan”.
“Regarding the so-called forthcoming “National Day of Taiwan”, the Chinese Embassy in India would like to remind our media friends that there is only one China in the world, and the Government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legitimate government representing the whole of China. Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory,” read the Chinese embassy letter.
Calling India to honour the “commitment” to the “One-China” policy, the letter added, “These facts are recognized by UN resolution and constitute the universal consensus of the international community. All countries that have diplomatic relations with China should firmly honor their commitment to the One-China policy, which is also the long-standing official position of the Indian government.”
Taiwan is going to celebrate her National Day on October 10.
In response, to the letter, the foreign ministry of Taiwan in a tweet signed off by Foreign Minister Joseph Wu told China that Taiwan’s Indian friends would ask Beijing to “get lost”.
The message was from Taipei to Beijing. “#India is the largest democracy on Earth with a vibrant press & freedom-loving people. But it looks like communist #China is hoping to march into the subcontinent by imposing censorship. #Taiwan’s Indian friends will have one reply: GET LOST! JW,” read the tweet.
The Chinese embassy also hoped Indian media will stick to what they called Indian government position while Beijing continues to violate India’s territorial integrity and sovereignty be it at the India-China border at the LAC or by not recognising Pakistan-Occupied territories of Jammu and Kashmir as integral part of India.
“We hope Indian media can stick to Indian government’s position on Taiwan question and do not violate the One-China principle. In particular, Taiwan shall not be referred to as a “country(nation)” or “Republic of China” or the leader of China’s Taiwan region as “President”, so as not to send the wrong signals to the general public,” said the Chinese embassy letter.
Adding, “The Chinese Embassy in India appreciates the good faith and efforts by friends from the media. We are willing to maintain communication with media friends on China-related reports.”
“Willing” to maintain communication is basically indicating to the INdian media that “Taiwan” is a redline. If crossed then the embassy will block access or shut communication.
Meanwhile, Taiwan and her partners across the world are prepared to celebrate Taiwan’s National Day on October 10.
A tweet by the spokesperson of Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen said, “Let’s celebrate #Taiwan’s National Day together on Oct. 10th! Watch the live stream on @iingwen & show the world that we are all #ProudOfTaiwan. Oct. 10th from 8:50AM (GMT+8). President Tsai Ing-wen’s National Day address begins at 10:20AM.”
By Geeta Mohan