Local students of the Taiwan Club celebrate the “Double Tenth Day,” or the National Day of the Republic of China, by the raising of the Taiwanese flag on Oct. 6 at the Little Circle. Jason Chang, a graphic design senior from Taiwan and President of the Taiwan Club, said, “Our club is celebrating the independence of our country and the pride we have for it.”
He continued, “The holiday comes from the Wuchang uprising over 100 years ago, which resulted in the overthrow of the Qing Dynasty and the establishment of the Republic of China.”
“It wasn’t until the Chinese Civil War that the Communist Party exiled the Republic of China to Taiwan, which was no longer under Japanese control at that time.”
Chang and other members at the gathering smiled and greeted each other with excitement at the event. Though there were over 30 people who attended the event and sang the Taiwanese National Anthem, all fell to a quiet reverence while they saluted the flag raise. James Huang, The secretary of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Honolulu gave a short speech at the event.
Clark Hsu, a Taiwan native and freshman computer science major, translated the speech in English. “The speaker is telling the crowd he is grateful for the opportunity to celebrate and the weather being good for such a day… he hopes we can enjoy each other’s company and come back next year.” As the speaker finished, the club went on to share a meal together.
Though the atmosphere of the occasion was peaceful and without contention, the matter of Taiwanese independence can be a hotbed for debate, according to Hsu. “China still tries to exert influence on Taiwan even though it is completely self-governed,” he said, alluding to the Mainland Chinese governments One China Policy. Hsu also noted, “It really depends on who you talk to. Some Chinese people have a strong opinion about it, others not so much.”
Michael Ling, a Hong Kong native and freshman in biology, is one who believes “Taiwan being independent or not matters little to me… it doesn’t affect my life at all.” He said, “I know some Chinese who care greatly about there being ‘One China,’ but it just doesn’t come up much around me.”
Iris Yang, a senior majoring in history from China, commented, “Taiwan should not be separate from China.” She explained, “Taiwan was a part of China for thousands of years. Both countries have the same culture, the same language, the same history the only barrier is political, and that will pass with time.”
She explained how there is only one China, one people, and no political differences can keep the conflict between Taiwan and Mainland China ongoing forever.
Yang also stated, “I love Taiwan. I love the Taiwanese people. We should look past the politics. We are family. One country two systems.”