Roger L. Simon

Bravo, Taiwan!

taiwan.jpgIn another display that democracy is viral, hundreds of thousands of Taiwanese have taken to the streets to protest a new law from mainland China:

Hundreds of thousands of people chanting “Oppose war, Love Taiwan” joined President Chen Shui-bian Saturday to protest against China’s anti-secession law that sanctions the use of force against the island.

Chen’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party hopes the protest will draw international attention to the new law and put pressure on China to scrap it.

Organizers said 1 million people joined the show of people power against Beijing’s military threat, but Taipei police estimated the crowd at just over 240,000.

“I am here to protest against a barbaric China which looks down upon the Taiwanese people,” said 70-year-old businessman Fan Wen-yi, adding he was not affiliated to any political party and had never participated in a protest before. “The anti-secession law, simply put, is a law that authorizes war.”

No one ever knows the accuracy of the stats in these things, but these are Beirut-like numbers. No doubt these demonstrators are getting the attention of the “Communist” rulers in Beijing, not to mention the citizens of Hong Kong. Who knows where this will lead? Is it possible that in its own way Taiwan will conquer the mainland through people power? I guess I’m a dreamer, but I remember Tienanmen. I wonder what the response to a democracy movement in China would be now. As we have learned in the last few years, anything is possible.

UPDATE: Great photos here and here.