Instead of showcasing its military prowess, the theme of Taiwan’s 2016 National Day celebration was: “It’s Great for Taiwan to Have You.” Held on October 10 in front of the Presidential Office Building in Taipei, the celebration marks the 105th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of China (R.O.C.).
The event was attended by over 11,000 Taiwanese nationals from all walks of life, as well as more than 300 foreign dignitaries and some 4,000 overseas Chinese. The celebration occurs each year on October 10, (also referred to as the Double Tenth), in recognition of the founding of the Republic of China.
Double Tenth, in fact, commemorates the Wuchang Uprising (also known as the Xinhai Revolution) in 1911, a milestone in China’s history, which led to the collapse of the Qing Dynasty. The Taiwanese people have continued to celebrate the Double Tenth every year since 1949 when the government of the R.O.C. relocated from Mainland China to the island of Taiwan.
Presiding over the celebrations, President Tsai Ing-wen delivered her first National Day address since taking office in May. She is the first female president of Taiwan and holds a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics. During her presentation, she reiterated her pledge to maintain Taiwan’s peace, stability, democracy, and prosperity.
She also vowed to maintain the cross-strait status quo, and called for reopening talks with China.
The Double Tenth celebration this year was highlighted by a grand parade that features the spirit of national unity during natural disasters, and Taiwanese athletes who won medals at the summer Olympic Games in Brazil. Rather than celebrations dominated by military displays, many in Taiwan felt that a demonstration of Taiwan’s soft power was a more effective representation of Taiwan and its people.
With a total land area of about 14,400 square miles (around 36,000 square kilometers) and a population of 23 million, Taiwan, also known as Formosa, is considered to have achieved an economic miracle by becoming one of the world’s top producers of computer technology.
It was dubbed one of the four Asian Tigers for its economic and technological prowess, and was ranked 17th in terms of per-capita income in July by the US-based Global Finance Magazine. It has also been named the best expat destination in this year’s InterNations Expat Insider Survey.
Additionally, since Taiwan has preserved the essence of Chinese culture, tourists not only can appreciate authentic Chinese culture and cuisine, but they can also experience the endless variety of artistic wonders, whether it be folk festivals, religious practices, or traditional skills.
Taiwan is also a steadfast guardian of freedom, democracy, human rights, and intellectual property rights. You can find expressions of the country’s rich and varied arts across the island and in the lives of its people.