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Showing posts from September, 2014

The People's Liberation Army Is Closely Monitoring Hong Kong's Protests

The People's Liberation Army (PLA) is closely monitoring Hong Kong's Occupy Central (讓愛與和平佔領中環) - literally. The PLA headquarters are located on Lung Wui Road, close to Admiralty and the government offices in Tamar.   
Today the South China Morning Post published a picture showing staff inside the Chinese People's Liberation Army Forces Hong Kong Building watching the protesters with binoculars. 
Occupy Central poses the biggest challenge to Communist rule since the 1989 student protests. The democracy movement on the mainland was suppressed by the very PLA whose garrisons entered Hong Kong after British forces left the city in 1997.
I had never noticed that building until last Sunday. While I was walking from Central towards Tamar, trying to return to Admiralty, I stumbled upon a group of protesters gathered in front of the PLA headquarters. The road was blocked by the police, so I couldn't walk any further. I turned around and saw the military premises. There was a sur…

Activist Throws Book 'Formosa Betrayed' at Taiwanese President Ma Yingjiu

On September 26 Taiwanese President Ma Yingjiu was hit by a book hurled at him by Yan Mingwei (顏銘緯), a student activist. Ma Yingjiu had just attended a gala organised by the International Franchise Association. According to the Taipei Times, that day an event of the pro-independence Northern Taiwan Society was hosted in the same building. When Ma left the venue, a journalist asked him to comment on Xi Jinping's recent remark that the 'one country, two systems' model is the only way to solve the China-Taiwan issue. The activist then threw the book at the President, hitting his abdomen. 
The 18-year-old Yan Mingwei is a student of sociology at Zhongshan University, and a member of Flanc Radical (基進側翼), an anti-Guomindang organisation. The President's spokesperson, Ma Weiguo (馬瑋國) said that the government accepts the people's right to express their opinions rationally, but condemns every form of violence. 
At a press conference held by Flanc Radical the day following th…

Taiwanese Policeman Killed by Mob Outside Nightclub in Taipei's Xinyi District

On September 14 Xue Zhenguo (薛貞國), a 38-year-old police detective, was beaten do death during an altercation with several members of a criminal gang near ATT 4 FUN, a shopping mall and recreation centre in Taipei's Xinyi District.
According to 'Apple Daily', the causes of the incident date back to September 13, when a man named Zeng Weihao (曾威豪), his girlfriend Liu Xintong (劉芯彤), and three other people went to SPARK, a famous nightclub inside ATT 4 FUN. Customers at a nearby table complained that the group was too loud, and a fight broke out between them. The nightclub's security intervened and forced Zeng and his friends to leave the premises. Zeng was enraged and vowed to settle the score. "We are from the Hetang*," he said, "we'll teach you a lesson."
*(和堂, pinyin: Hétáng, is a subgroup of the notorious Bamboo Gang, one of Taiwan's most powerful criminal syndicates)
The 28-year-old Zeng Weihao immediately went to his friend Xiao Ruihong (蕭叡鴻…

Chinese Tourists - Good or Bad for Taiwan?

A few days ago I was walking from Taipei Main Station towards Gongguan, when I bumped into a big crowd at Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall. Dozens of people were gathered around something which I at first couldn't see. I decided to stop for a while and take a closer look. 
I noticed that many people were taking pictures of two guards that were standing by a flagpole. Guards - I don't know if they are actual soldiers - are regularly stationed at the mausoleum of the former President of the Republic of China and perform daily ceremonies that have become major tourist attractions, as has the building itself, which is one of Taipei's most important landmarks. 
As I soon realised, a flag lowering ceremony was to be performed. The national anthem of the Republic of China was played. Then, the guards began the flag lowering ritual. While I was watching and taking pictures, I found that many, if not most people around me were mainland Chinese (I could tell from their accent). 
The numbe…