Sunday, November 12, 2006

Double Ten Day: Taiwan History

This entry is about a month late, but I'm still going to put it in.

October ten is Taiwan's "birthday." Something like American Fourth of July. They do the same kind of stuff we Americans do. Take the day off, have a barbecue, and blow stuff up.

Here is a little background on Ten Ten Day. There are a few typos, but they are not mine.

Quoted from Taiwan Magazine, Oct. 2006 --

Double Ten

On Tuesday, October 10, the Republic of China celebrates Double Ten, its national holiday. There will be festive entertainment throughout the island, the national flag will fly everywhere, and the exterior of public buildings will be lit in brilliant colors. A National Day rally and parade, reviewed by the President, will be held in the morning at the president building square, with a lot of people participating. The president building in Taipei fully lit inside and out, will be particularly beautiful to observe at night.

The significance of October 10th dates from that day in 1911, which is considered to be the date of the establishment of the Republic of China.

Dr. Sun Yat-sen, who had been exiled because of his involvement in the anti-Ch'ing movement, organized the Revolutionary Alliance, based in Tokyo. This organization sponsored a network of revolutionaries inside China. On October 10th a popular rebellion broke out in Wuhan on the Yangtze River, in Szechuan province, and within days other provinces, inspired by its success, began declaring their independence also. With the overthrow of the 267-year Ch'ing dynasty of the Manchus, and the abdication of the child Emperor Pu Yi, the revolution ended more than 46 centuries of monarchical rule in China. The first republic in Asia was established.

Chinese revolutionary leader Dr. Sun Yat-sen, 45 years old and the first graduated of Hong Kong's college of Medicine, returned from 16 years of exile and on December 29. he was elected president of the United Provinces of China by a evolutionary provisional assembly at Nani. On January 1, 1912, Dr. Sun Yat-sen assumed the provisional presidency of the new republic. Its foundation would be the Three Principle the People: Nationalism, Democracy and Social Wellbeing.

Northern China continued to be effectively ruled by supporters of the Ch'ing dynasty, however, and many years of civil war ensued between rival militarists and Dr. Sun Yat-republicans. It was not until 1926, following the Northern Expedition led by Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, that the Chinese nation was united under the central government. The nationalist forces, led by Chiang Kai-shek eventually occupied most of China, setting up a Kuomintang regime. Internal strife continued, however.

With the invasion of Manchuria by the Japanese in the early 1930s and the Japanese efforts t China's northern provinces, the Kuomintang government was forced to retreat first to Hankow and then to Chungking. At the end of the Second World War civil war began again between nationalist forces under Chiang Kai-shek and communist forces under Mao Zedong. The Chiang Kai-shek forces retreated from mainland to Taiwan.

The achievement of the Republic of China onTaiwan since that time, have been truly remarkable, and economic and social progress are continuing without respite. The transformation from poverty to prosperity, from one party rule to multiparty democracy, and from authoritarian rule observance of human rights, stand out as an example to much of Asia and the world.

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