Taiwan Holds Massive Democracy Rally Opposing Annexation

“Taiwan is an independent, sovereign state and its future should be determined by its 23 million people. Taiwanese people oppose annexation and invasion.”

Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian
Taipei, Taiwan
March 18, 2006

Taiwan held a massive protest yesterday on the anniversary of China’s passage of the Anti-Secession Law,
Reuters VIDEO HERE

The rally in Taipei was held under the banner “Protect Democracy and Stand against Forceful Annexation”.

More than 100,000 Taiwanese people march through the streets in an anti-China rally in Taipei March 18, 2006. Organisers estimated 100,000 people joined the march to mark the first anniversary of China’s passage of the Anti-Secession Law that authorizes war if Taiwan declares formal independence. (REUTERS/Jameson Wu)

A massive rally was held in Taipei, Taiwan yesterday to protest the one year anniversary of China’s threat of force against the island nation:

Speaking to more than 100,000 protesters, Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian told the crowd that Taiwan is an independent, sovereign state. He said the island’s future should not be decided by China.

Demonstrators chanted slogans such as “Loving Peace, Opposing Missiles,” and “Oppose Annexation.”

The rally comes amid this week’s one-year anniversary of China’s approval of an anti-secession law. The law says China will employ “non-peaceful means” to prevent Taiwan’s independence if efforts at peaceful reunification fail.

Mr. Chen angered Beijing last month when he decided to stop funding a unification council and scrap guidelines for reunification with China.

The words of President Chen were sure to anger the leaders back in Beijing who passed the Anti-Secession law one year ago.

More than 100,000 Taiwanese people march through the streets in an anti-China rally in Taipei March 18, 2006. Organisers estimated 100,000 people joined the march to mark the first anniversary of China’s passage of the Anti-Secession Law that authorizes war if Taiwan declares formal independence. (REUTERS/Jimmy Chang)

Taiwan’s leader asked residents to resist China’s bid to annex the island nation:

“Our future will never be decided by the 1.3 billion people of China,” Chen told his supporters in front of the presidential office building. “Taiwan is an independent, sovereign state and its future should be determined by its 23 million people. Taiwanese people oppose annexation and invasion.”

Protesters on the three-hour march held balloons and waved banners as a flatbed truck hauled a large globe surrounded by red likenesses of missiles bearing the Chinese flag.

The rally, under the banner of “Protect democracy, oppose annexation,” was held on the anniversary of a law passed in Beijing last year that threatens to use force if Taiwan becomes independent.

The protest came less than a week after the opposition Nationalists mobilized an estimated 40,000 demonstrators, accusing Chen of stoking tensions between Taiwan and China.

Several thousand Taiwanese Opposition Party members protested on Sunday against what they call the president’s “China-provoking” policies.

Mad Minerva has more on Saturday’s protest.

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