Saturday, September 09, 2006

Huge rally against Taiwan's Chen -- from CNN

Dear my friends, don't try to guess what color I am because besides blue and green, my blood is red. I love my country Taiwan because, if there is any reason, in my body, there is blood from my grand father. He gave his whole life and love to this country as a soldier since 1920. He is my hero not because the battle he won but because of the loyalty to this country. Some friends thought I am blue because of my parents' background while others thought I am more like green. Please don't ask me simply since I have no answer. I have no answer not because I don't love my country but don't think it is necessary to choose one. The only question I ask myself is: "when a war happens in Taiwan Strait, where am I?"

In the States, I am clearly identified as Taiwanese. Whenever some misunderstanding Taiwan as a part of China exists, I am always the first one to jump for defense. Clearly I told my friends Taiwan is an independent country from China.

However, I am not always without an answer. This time if I am asked for my opinion, I am glad to see that happens, if

1. most people thought A-bian is disqualified not only because he ran out of credits but also because of absence of ability to lead Taiwan into a better and stronger countiry and

2. if A-bian's set-down can set a good example for the future.

I have no time or interest in further discussing this issue and secondly, there are too many discussions and analyses much more professional than mine. No matter what will happen, I will keep telling my friends I am from Taiwan and I love there.

News from CNN:

TAIPEI, Taiwan (Reuters) -- Tens of thousands of people opposed to Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian took to the streets on Saturday in response to calls for weeklong demonstrations aimed at unseating the scandal-plagued leader.

The rally, one of the largest to date, saw a steady flow of people streaming in during the day to the site in front of the presidential palace before the event began in the late afternoon. Observers put the crowd at between 30,000 and 50,000 when the demonstration officially began in the late afternoon, but TV reported the crowd was up to 80,000. Campaigners had said they expected between 240,000 and 300,000.

Organizers said the mass protest was triggered by public frustration over a series of scandals involving Chen's family and officials in his administration. On Saturday Chen returned to his hometown in the southern county in Tainan, meeting his supporters and praying for his political survival.

"Everything we do, we do it for Taiwan's democracy and freedom ... We cannot let people destroy this," Chen told his supporters in Tainan, responding to the protest in Taipei. Chen and his wife have been questioned over the use of the presidential office's state affairs budget, while son-in-law Chao Chien-ming has been charged with insider training. Several high-level officials have also stepped down prematurely this year due to a series of corruption scandals.

Chen's office has said the president would neither step down nor meet the crowd. He rejects the allegations of corruption and says he did not pocket any money from the state affairs budget. Taiwan's financial markets have come under pressure this week in the run-up to the protest, organized by the "Million Person Depose Bian" movement led by Shih Ming-teh, former chairman of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party.

In Taipei chants of "A-bian step down," a reference to Chen's nickname, broke out occasionally, and people wore shirts with similar themes and waved balloons in the shape of a thumbs-down. "On September 9, we stand here, we sit here, to call on A-bian to step down," said Shih.
"Brothers and sisters, today is a moment in history. The people of Taiwan are watching, the world is watching. They are looking to see if we have the resolve to make A-bian step down." On Friday, about 4,000 people demonstrated in Taipei to express support for Chen, who was elected in 2000 and 2004, and for Taiwan's independence from China. China regards self-ruled Taiwan as a breakaway province.