Double Tenth Day — Whose Birthday Is It, Anyway?
By Lilly Lee (李旻臻), Member of the Restoration of Taiwan Social Justice (臺左維新)
“Republic of China is our nation, while Taiwan is our home.” addressed by President Ma Ying-jeou on the 100th Double Tenth Day, 2011. Four years later, the question of how the state should be defined still haunts the Taiwanese.
One hundred and four years ago today, it was Dr. Sun Yat-sen who sparked an epoch-making strike that forever changed Chinese history and spearheaded the Wuchang Uprising to topple the Qing and established the Republic of China on mainland China. After taking over Taiwan, the government in exile claimed it has remade itself in Taiwan. — Is it a misnomer to call Double Tenth Day our National Day?
As for the international community, October Tenth stands for World Day Against Death Penalty. Although developed countries banned this kind of penalty, it’s still in use in many other countries around the world, including Taiwan. There was an inscrutable coincidence took place in Taiwan nineteen years ago, a Taiwanese air force private born on October 10th, Chiang Kuo-ching, was executed for the rape and murder of a five-year-old girl. After fourteen years, a military court has ruled that Chiang was innocent after all. The public was thrown into an emotional stew by seething anger, substituting Chiang Kuo-ching Day for Double Tenth Day.
In the general debate of the 70th session of the U.N. General Assembly last week, up to ten diplomatic allies spoke up for Taiwan. Wait, for Taiwan or for Republic of China? Eight out of ten praised the improvement in relations across the Taiwan Strait contributed by R.O.C.. The rest said that the 23 million people of Taiwan are ready to join in U.N.. To reach the zenith of confusion, an article published in the Diplomat even commented the tension between “Republic of Taiwan” and People’s Republic of China. Here is the diplomatic hot potato, how can Taiwan reach out to the international community before self identification has been made?
I would like to thank everyone who had submitted their thoughts to OFT regarding Double Ten Day. They are insightful, personal, vivid stories reminding us of the different views of the holiday. On this important note, I would like to conclude this article with one particularly poignant response (it actually was the first submission regarding this topic):
God Bless Taiwan – Anonymous