No fire­works 10/10, but Tsai and Chu to meet

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY ENRU LIN

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://rocbirth­

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.

Enru Lin, The China Post

The Na­tional Day Cel­e­bra­tion Or­ga­niz­ing Com­mit­tee holds a press preview for the state-or­ga­nized cel­e­bra­tion on Oct.10.

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