No fireworks 10/10, but Tsai and Chu to meet
This year, the National Day fireworks are canceled but the leaders of Taiwan’s two major political parties will make a rare joint appearance.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen ( ) and Eric Chu ( ), chairman of the ruling Kuomintang (KMT), are confirmed guests to the annual state-organized military parade at the Presidential Office.
“In the past, the major opposition party has tended not to attend the National Day celebration,” Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng ( ) said yesterday at a press preview of the Oct. 10 event.
Wang, who has headed the National Day Celebration Organizing Committee since 1999, said that top pan-blue officials avoided the event during former president Chen Shui-bian’s eight years in power.
Likewise, Tsai and other panblue officials have stayed away most of President Ma Ying-jeou’s term, until this year.
Wang touted the coming celebration as a chance for political parties to bridge old divides.
“The global political and economic situation has been turbulent and Taiwan’s society has gone through a great deal,” he said.
“The committee hopes that through the National Day celebration, we can allow all people regardless of political affiliation to unite, to treasure Taiwan and to look toward the future.”
Themed “reaching the world from Taiwan” ( ), this year’s event is notable for lining up athletes to lead the national anthem.
The anthem will be performed by the Taipei Jingmei Girls High School’s ( ) world- acclaimed tug-of-war team and Hsu Shu-ching ( ), silver medalist at the 2012 London Olympics.
The program also includes a presidential address, military parade, folk performances and a flyover by the Air Force's Thunder Tigers Aerobatics Team.
For the first time, the program does not include a state-sponsored fireworks display.
In August, the Greater Kaohsiung government canceled the annual National Day fireworks display, citing cost restrictions and safety concerns.
The 2015 National Day celebration opens at 9:27 a.m. on October 10 and will be streamed live starting 9:20 a.m. For more information, visit http://rocbirthday.tw
Oct. 10 marks the start of an uprising that led to the fall of the Qing dynasty and the establishment of the R.O.C.
The National Day Celebration Organizing Committee holds a press preview for the state-organized celebration on Oct.10.