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DPP presidential candidate draws spotlight at National Day ceremony

DPP presidential candidate draws spotlight at National Day ceremony

Taipei, Oct. 10 (CNA) Tsai Ing-wen (???), the chairwoman and presidential candidate of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), spoke of solidarity as she attended the National Day ceremony on Saturday under the close watch of local media. It was the first time Tsai had attended a National Day ceremony since President Ma Ying-jeou (???) of the Kuomintang (KMT) took office in 2008, despite being the head of the DPP from 2008 to 2012 and again in 2014. Before attending the ceremony, Tsai said she was taking part in this year's festivities hoping that it will no longer be an issue whether or not opposition parties take part in National Day celebrations. She also said an atmosphere of solidarity has begun to emerge in the nation, and expressed the hope that everybody could unite to protect Taiwan's valuable democracy and freedom and that the nation would stay united however the presidential campaign develops. Tsai's attendance at the event and call for unity came at a time when she appears to be a virtual shoo-in to win Taiwan's presidential election in January 2016. Her every move during the ceremony held at the presidential plaza came under the media spotlight. She was seated between KMT Chairman Eric Chu (???) and People First Party Chairman James Soong (???), while KMT presidential candidate Hung Hsiu-chu (???) was seated behind Tsai in the next row in her capacity as the vice legislative speaker. When Tsai shook hands with Hung, she also patted her hand, and Tsai could be seen chatting with Chu and exchanging words with Soong from time to time. Tsai's treatment of the national anthem was also parsed. DPP politicians have in the past refrained from singing the national anthem when attending national activities or skipping the first two lines -- Three Principles of the People, the foundation of our party (????, ????) -- because the DPP sees the "party" as referring to the KMT. They have also avoided waving national flags of the Republic of China, as Taiwan is now formally known. After all rose to sing the national anthem, Tsai could be seen singing the first line, but bypassed the word "our party" before singing the rest of the anthem to the end. She also took part in the annual rite of bowing to the national flag and before a photo of the ROC's founding father, Sun Yat-sen. President Ma said it was gratifying to see leaders from different parties attend the ceremony, and he hoped this indicated that they identified with and supported the ROC irrespective of their party affiliations. Chu hoped for more positive exchanges among parties, saying that Taiwan's democracy should be more positive in this generation and become a more modern and rational democracy. (By Chen Wei-ting, Lu Hsin-hui, Justin Su and Lilian Wu)


Updated : 2021-09-18 06:31 GMT+08:00