At the end of October 1995, the United Nations celebrated the 50th anniversary of its founding. The festivities of the world body in New York were attended by scores of heads of state and heads of government.
To remind them of the fact that the United Nations, which were established on the principle of universality, have until now left the democratic people of Taiwan out in the cold, some 1,000 Taiwanese from Taiwan, the United States, Canada, and Europe on 24 October 1995 marched in a colorful procession through the streets of Manhattan.
Businessmen, monks, housewives, professors, students, children all came to New York and joined in a festive rally to urge the international community to accept Taiwan as a full and equal member of the international family of nations, and let Taiwan join the UN. As a symbol of their affinity to Taiwan and its soil, many of them wore straw farmer's hats.
- To the International Community: Recognize Taiwan's independent sovereignty and support Taiwan's entry into the United Nations. Insist that China resolves its differences with Taiwan in a peaceful manner.
- To the United States: Reaffirm the United States' commitment to peace in the Taiwan Strait in accordance with the terms of the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act. Lead the international community in recognizing Taiwan as a free and independent country.
- To China: End all nuclear testing and military hostility towards its neighboring countries, especially Taiwan. Recognize Taiwan independence and respect Taiwan's sovereignty, so that Taiwan can co-exist, cooperate, and prosper in an atmosphere of peace, equality, and mutual respect
After listening to speeches and music in front of the United Nations building at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, the crowd filed in a half-mile-long procession through Manhattan, escorted by New York police.
At Times Square, the crowd listened to more speeches, music, drums and watched several skids by Taiwanese students, depicting China's repressive system. Among the speakers was professor Chen Lung-chu, a prominent Taiwanese-American Law scholar teaching at New York University. The crowd subsequently wound its way down to the Westside of Manhattan, and stopped in front of the Chinese Consulate.
In the afternoon, a large part of the group went to Lincoln Center, where President Clinton was meeting with Chinese President Jiang Zemin. There they urged the Clinton Administration not conduct a policy of "engagement" with China at the expense of the 21 million people of Taiwan or their future as a free, democratic, and independent member of the world community.
By clicking below you can see some of the images of the demonstration and march:
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Last updated on 4 May 1996.