Cheers, jeers greet Taiwan's president


POSTED: Monday, July 06, 2009

The president of Taiwan left Honolulu Airport early last night after a controversial 23-hour visit to Hawaii that sparked protests from members of the Taiwanese community who oppose his political measures.

“;China wanted to make it clear that Taiwan was a part of China, (but) we, the majority of Taiwanese, do not agree,”; said Yu-Chong Lin, a professor of psychology at the University of Hawaii's John A. Burns School of Medicine. “;The current government tried to control the media and local assembly just like China, but we want to maintain that we are separate from China.”;

After arriving late Saturday evening from Nicaragua with a 169-person delegation, Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou stayed overnight at the Kahala Hotel & Resort before beginning a whirlwind visit that included a wreath-laying ceremony at Dr. Sun Yat-sen's statue at the Chinese Cultural Plaza and a series of private events: breakfast with Gov. Linda Lingle, lunch at the East-West Center and a reception at the Kahala Hotel & Resort sponsored by the Overseas Chinese in Hawaii.

Yesterday morning about 20 protesters from several organizations chanted, “;One Taiwan, one China,”; in Mandarin as Ma arrived at the Chinese Cultural Plaza, while others held signs reading, “;China Hands Off Taiwan”; and “;Chairman Ma Go Back to China.”;

;[Preview]  President Of Taiwan Met By Protest In Honolulu

Taiwanese Americans are angry with the President of Taiwan's policy of closer ties with China and made their disagreement known outside the East West Center.

Watch ]


“;We want to say that we, the Taiwanese in every corner of the world, are not only the Taiwanese in Taiwan,”; said American Board of Radiology member Dr. Hwei-Shien Hahn. “;We are all watching what he's doing, and he cannot just do what he wants.”;

But across the street, nearly 200 supporters waving Taiwanese and American flags behind metal crowd barriers chanted, “;Aloha President Ma,”; in Mandarin, while others held signs that read, “;Welcome President Ma Ying-jeou.”;

Hawaii Taiji Health and Sports Association instructor Yu-Ling Gong stopped the group's morning activities to lead about 50 red-clad supporters in support of the president.

“;It's a very meaningful day for us to be here to celebrate President Ma,”; Gong said through a translator. “;We are all Chinese; we are one member of the Chinese. Although we come from Taiwan, we are all the same blood under China. We're all going to welcome and celebrate him as a family.”;

Other supporters came to show their approval of Ma's political stance. One, Chinese Culture Service Center President William Li, said Ma is “;a good leader”; who has improved the “;economical welfare”; of the country and provided more “;human rights to the people.”;

“;We feel that this President Ma is the one; he can do it,”; Li said. “;We would like to see no war and no military conflict whatsoever on both sides of the street in Taiwan.”;