Houston Community News >> Taiwan Double Ten Celebration

10/10/2007 TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Gatherings and large-scale fireworks shows in Taipei and southern Pingtung plus a concert in central Taiwan will be among the highlights of this year's Double Ten National Day festivities, in addition to a mass rally and military review at the Presidential Plaza today.

President Chen Shui-bian will host the traditional celebration with senior government officials inside the Presidential Office in the morning.

He will be invited by Legislative Yuan Speaker Wang Jin-pyng to join the rally at the plaza outside the Presidential Office starting at 9 a.m.

Traffic controls will be imposed around the plaza from early morning to at least 1 p.m. in the afternoon today.

As leader of the parliament and top representative of the people, Wang heads an organizing committee for National Day festivities and play hosts to leaders of all political and civic organizations in Taiwan and dignitaries from abroad.

Wang accepted the suggestion from Chen to stage a military performance with around 3,000 troops from the armed forces.

But Chen declined Wang's request to put the traditional banner with Chinese characters saying "Celebrating the Republic of China National Day" on the tower building of the Presidential Office.

Chen wants to keep the same prominent spot for a banner with giant characters saying "Taiwan for U.N." plus a huge billboard saying "U.N. for Taiwan/Peace Forever" at the Presidential Plaza to promote his national referendum for the nation to join the world body under the name of Taiwan.

Although invited, opposition leaders decided not to attend the rally.

Ma Ying-jeou, presidential candidate of the opposition Kuomintang (KMT), and other top KMT leaders as well as lawmakers from the party will attend a national flag-raising ceremony to be held in Taipei County hosted by county chief Chou Shi-wei, who is a KMT member.

Leaders of the People First Party, another opposition party, said they have accepted the invitation from Chou to take part in the ceremony too.

Ma, a former Taipei mayor, will attend another ceremony to be hosted by incumbent Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bing and join a road-jogging event organized by the city government.

Former Democratic Progressive Party Chairman Shih Ming-teh, who has been leading an anti-corruption campaign, will be a conspicuous exception.

Shih will wear a red shirt, a trademark of tens of thousands of anti-graft protesters, and make a solo march toward the Presidential Plaza, the venue of the traditional rally.

Although all by himself, Shih is expected to draw a large number of journalists and likely security guards and police officers.

While President Chen refused to give an eminent distinction to the name of the Republic of China, Mayor Hau of the capital city is doing exactly the opposite.

After erecting 20,000 ROC national flags on major streets and bridges throughout the city, Hau booked a prominent space on the Taipei 101, one of the world's tallest buildings, to put up the gigantic traditional "Double Ten" logo for several evenings to mark the nation's birthday.

Hau said while the central government officials dare not say the words of "the Republic of China" and give prominent display of the ROC flags, the city government is holding activities for people who love the nation.

In the evening, Hau and Taipei County Magistrate Chou will jointly stage a fireworks display at Dadaocheng Wharf riverside park along the Danshui River at the end of Minsheng West Road in Taipei, and Shanchong City in Taipei County on the other side of the river.

Dadaocheng Wharf was one of the earliest commercial ports and business centers in northern Taiwan, to do business with China and foreign traders.

A concert will start at 7 p.m. while the fireworks show begins at 8 p.m.

Organizers expect more than 100,000 people to attend the celebrations, and urged people to take the bus or mass rapid transport (MRT) to the park.

Shuttle buses will be available between the MRT's Shuanglian Station and Dadaocheng Wharf.

The central government will stage a separate fireworks show at the Dapeng Bay scenic area in Pingtung County, southern Taiwan, at 7 p.m. Dapeng means "giant roc" (as in enormous bird, or eagle) in Chinese.

Pingtung County officials expected the show will draw an estimated 100,000 visitors, including people from Kaohsiung City, to the gathering.

A Double Ten National Day celebration party, also funded by the central government, will take place in the park in Touliu City, southwestern Yunlin County at 7 p.m.

For diplomats and visiting foreign dignitaries, a National Day reception will be held at the Taipei Guest House near the Presidential Office from 4 p.m.

For overseas compatriots returning home for National Day celebrations, two concerts will be held on the campus of the Taiwan Police College on Xinlong Road of Muzha District in Taipei at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. separately today.

(Contributed by China Post)