TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Chinese national Chou Hsiao-tang (周小棠) protested New York migrant association Soo Yuen Benevolent Association's (SYBA, 遡源公所) move to fly the Chinese national flag on August 19, by flying the Taiwan flag and distributing pamphlets.
The protest was in the wind and rain on the SYBA's 90th anniversary, with Chou protesting China's authoritarianism and lack of freedom.
The SYBA, one of the 60 organizations led by Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (CCBA, 中华公所), announced in July that it will fly the Chinese national flag, causing a scandal among the wider community in New York. The move came at odds with the position of the CCBA, which has traditionally supported Taiwan.
Yang Kuang-pin (楊光彬), deputy head of the CCBA's New York office told CNA that the organization has always supported Taiwan and the office regrets the change of flag by SYBA. Yahoo News suggests close to two thirds of the member organizations of New York's CCBA support Taiwan.
During the one-man protest, Chou shouted "long live Taiwan," and distributed leaflets and small Taiwan flags to the public, reported to Yahoo News.
Chou Hsiao-tang in New York on August 19. (CNA image)
Chou, aged 19, emigrated to the U.S. two years ago with his family and considers himself as not a Chinese citizen.
"The five-star red flag represents Beijing's dictatorship, and I agree with Mr. Sun Yat-sen's three principles of the people and liberal democratic political system. Therefore, I am going to raise the flag of Taiwan today and express my objections." Chou said, reported Yahoo News.
"Even if I am alone here today, it represents hope. If justice is on our side, even if thousands of people block it, we must go forward. With this fearless and persevering spirit, we can persist in our struggle."
Taiwan's Overseas Community Affairs Council said the flag debacle went against tradition and hurt feelings on both sides. The council went on to reaffirm its support for overseas communities and goal to support freedom, democracy, and traditional values.