Taiwan Life in Brief – November 2017

PATRIOTIC PASSION — Performers show their skills during National Day celebrations in Taipei. Photo: AP/Chiang Ying-ying

Taiwan Marks National Day

Taiwan celebrated the National Day of the Republic of China on October 10 with a morning ceremonies and a parade in front of the Presidential Office Building. Also called “Double Ten Day,” the date commemorates the anniversary of the Wuchang Uprising on October 10, 1911, which sparked widespread rebellion and the eventual toppling of the Qing Dynasty with the declaration of the Republic of China on January 1, 1912. The event featured performances by marching bands, cheerleaders, and the military. The highlight was a speech by President Tsai celebrating Taiwan’s diversity and strength.  Father Brendan O’Connell, an 81-year old American Catholic priest who this year became the first foreigner to be given ROC citizenship without needing to renounce his native citizenship, led the singing of the national anthem. A 46-float parade then followed, led by several Taiwanese athletes who won medals at this year’s Taipei Summer Universiade. The day was not without controversy, however, as the opposition Kuomingtang (KMT) held its own “flag celebration” at Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall to decry the absence of the image of the national flag on the invitations for the official event.

Hight Court Acquits Ex-President Ma

The Taiwan High Court upheld a lower court verdict that acquitted former president Ma Ying-jeou of leaking classified information in a case dating to 2013. Presiding judge Chou Cheng-ta said that Democratic Progressive Party caucus whip Ker Chien-ming had failed to present sufficient evidence that Ma had leaked state secrets, and that Ma’s interest in the case was constitutional in accordance with his then-role as president. Ma was accused of encouraging the leak of wiretapped conversations between Ker and then-legislative speaker Wang Jin-pyng concerning the lobbying of senior Ministry of Justice officials. The High Court’s ruling is final.

Chan, Hingis Top Tennis Team of 2017

The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) announced October 27 that Taiwan’s Yung-jan “Latisha” Chan and doubles partner Switzerland’s Martina Hingis had both earned the 2017 WTA Year-End World No.1 doubles ranking. As doubles players may switch partners throughout the year, they are ranked individually, and this is only the fifth time that a doubles team has jointly shared the year-end top ranking. Chan and Hingis won a tour-leading nine trophies in 2017, including their first Grand Slam title as a team at the U.S. Open, as well as the Dongfeng Motor Wuhan Open, and the China Open (Beijing). Hingis took the top rank on October 2, while Chan joined her on October 23 following her 11th doubles title of 2017 at the Prudential Hong Kong Tennis Open, playing with her sister Chan Hao-ching.