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Thousands to march to 'protect Taiwan'

DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen warns of 'hidden' KMT-CCP deal

DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen speaks during a international press conference yesterday about today's rally.

DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen speaks during a international press conference yesterday about today's rally.

Tens of thousands of Taiwan residents are expected to fill the streets of Taipei City in a massive protest organized by the opposition Democratic Progressive Party, the Taiwan Solidarity Union and other Taiwan-centric groups to "oppose Chinese toxic goods" and "safeguard Taiwan."
Speaking to foreign and Taiwan reporters yesterday morning at the DPP headquarters, DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) stated President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and his Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang) government had "mismanaged the economy, cross-strait affair and sovereignty" and warned that "Taiwan now faces a very critical crisis of confidence."
Besides expressing "discontent" and calling for the KMT government to change its direction, Tsai said that the protest aimed to "make the voices of the Taiwan people loud enough to be heard" by China's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait Chairman Chen Yunlin, who is expected to visit Taiwan Nov. 3 -8 for talks with Taiwan's quasi-official Strait Exchange Foundation Chairman Chiang Pin-kun and possibly Ma.
Tsai said Ma's actions, such as defining cross-strait relations as "area to area" instead of "state to state," in relations with the People's Republic of China "are foreclosing the options for Taiwan's future."
"We are concerned that Chen Yunlin's visit is likely to be a milestone leading in the direction of unification," said Tsai, who added that "since it is not China's habit to start a round of talks before first resolving the political issues," the upcoming visit by the Chinese envoy "is likely to be ceremonial.
"We have information and enough analysis to make a judgment that there is a hidden process between the KMT government and Communist China and if that is not the case, the KMT government should clarify since it is the government's responsibility to what is doing," said Tsai.
Cheng said the advocations of the march included ed opposition to "a one China market," to the hollowing out of Taiwan's sovereignty and Ma's "incompetent government" and demands for China to provide compensation for the harm done by toxic dairy products.
"We hope everyone will stand up and march for Taiwan," said Cheng, who reported that the response to the appeal by the DPP, the TSU and other Taiwan-centric civic groups had indicated that the crowd "will be considerably larger" than the "Outcry for the People" march held on Aug. 30 in which over 100,000 protested against the policies of the Ma government.
The march will be divided into five columns, all of which will assemble at 2:00 p.m. and set out for the rally location at Ketegalan Boulevard at 3:00 p.m. and arrive at about 4 p.m. for a massive rally and a "Safeguard Taiwan" civic forum.
Former DPP chairman and ex-Examination Yuan president Yao Chia-wen (姚嘉文) will lead the "Oppose Toxic Goods" route which will depart from the Tinghao Plaza on Zhongxiao East Road near Dunhua South Road.
The second "Oppose One China Education" troop will assemble at the main gate of National Taiwan University and will be lead by former presidential secretary -general Yeh Chu-lan (葉菊蘭) and Kaohsiung City Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) and also include youth idols such as black rock star Freddy Lin.
The third group to "Oppose the Hollowing Out of Sovereignty" will depart from the Longshan Temple in Wanhua and be led by Taiwan Solidarity Union Chairman Huang Kun-hui.
Former DPP chairman Yu Shyi-kun will lead the "Oppose a One China Market" section from the Chungshan Stadium, and the fifth column will be led by former DPP chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) from the Sanchung City side of the Zhongxing Bridge.
Tsai will briefly visit each column before beginning the march with the "Oppose One China Education" column at NTU.
The event will end at 10:00 p.m. with a joint singing of the folk song "Taiwan" with its composer Wang Ming-che.
Cheng added that the DPP had cautioned all supporters and participants to focus clearly on the key advocations and respond to any provocations "peacefully and firmly" by shouting slogans and allow marshals to handle any disturbances and to "act as first class citizens" and neither leave garbage or make excessive or disturbing noise.
Cheng stated that the DPP, the TSU and other Taiwan-centric groups will hold a variety of vigils and protests during the five-day visit by the Chinese delegation.
The DPP spokesman criticized the ruling KMT for deliberately applying for activity permits for all six days around the Grand Hotel, Ketegalan Boulevard and other locations where the ARATS chairman is likely to go "in order to prevent Chen Yunlin from hearing the voices of the Taiwan people."