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President to pay tribute to founding father; move opposed

President to pay tribute to founding father; move opposed

Taipei, May 22 (CNA) Newly inaugurated President Tsai Ing-wen will lead senior officials Monday in paying tribute to Dr. Sun Yat-sen, founding father of the Republic of China, and others at the Martyrs Shrine, Presidential Office officials said Sunday.

Paying a "remote" tribute to Dr. Sun's tomb in Nanjing has been a tradition for an ROC president soon after their inauguration ceremony.

But Tsai, who was sworn in on Friday, will change the symbolic "remote" tribute and pay her respects instead to the founding father and others at the Martyrs Shrine in Yuanshan in Taipei.

The minor change is aimed at "defeudalizing" the significance of the ritual, according to the officials.

A group calling itself the "Anti-sinicization League" said it will hold a press conference at the site to express opposition to Tsai's "worshipping of previous colonial rulers."

In a statement, the league, whose members are staunch advocates of Taiwan independence, said it is opposed to the new government's policy of "continuing to lock Taiwan in China" -- a policy they complain is symbolized by the scheduled ceremony at the Martyrs Shrine.

Tsai will lead Vice President Chen Chien-jen, the heads of the five Yuans (branches) of Taiwan's government and other senior officials in attending a ceremony that will feature the playing of the national anthem, laying a wreath and bowing three times in front of the martyrs' name plates.

The shrine commemorates those who died in combat for the Republic of China in such engagements as the Xinhai Revolution, the Second Sino-Japanese War, the Chinese Civil War and successive Taiwan Strait crises. (By Sofia Yeh and S.C. Chang)

Updated : 2021-05-16 13:05 GMT+08:00