Ex-President Chen asks President Tsai to cancel Taiwan's National Day celebrations

Chen suggests banquet or tea ceremony rather than nationalistic displays

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File photo: Chen Shui-bian

File photo: Chen Shui-bian (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Former President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) has called on the Tsai administration to cancel the parade and celebrations planned as part of the National Double Ten (Oct. 10) Holiday.

Emphasizing his decision as president to cancel the military parades under his administration, Chen implored the Tsai government to go further, claiming such nationalistic displays encourage militarism and are an unnecessary expenditure. Chen believes the pomp of national day celebrations are not a good representation of Taiwan.

Before Chen took office in 2000, the government occasionally held military parades as part of the National Day celebrations a total of 17 times, reports UDN. The majority of those were under the authoritarian rule of Chiang Kai Shek’s Kuomintang (KMT) government, with one held under the leadership of C.K. Yen and two each under the administrations of Chiang Ching-kuo and Lee Tung-hui.

For the eight years of the Chen administration, Taipei abstained from holding the large scale military parades for the Double Ten Day Celebrations. Under the Ma administration, a military parade was held for the National Day in 2011. Since Tsai took office in 2016, there have been no military parades to mark the holiday, only regular parades.

However, Chen suggests even the normal parade and performances are unnecessary. Chen stressed that it is possible to change tradition and convention, and suggested the Tsai administration should host a large public banquet or tea ceremony instead.