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Ma stresses founding father's Taiwan ties to mark death anniversary
Central News Agency
2014-03-12 11:11 PM
Taipei, March 12 (CNA) Marking the 89th anniversary of the passing of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, President Ma Ying-jeou Wednesday said the legacy of the Republic of China's founding father will endure in spite of a recent act of vandalism against a statue of the ROC's first leader. Ma paid his respects along with other officials from the ruling Kuomintang, founded by Sun in Beijing in 1912, before giving a speech at the founding father's memorial hall in Taipei in which he emphasized Sun's connections to Taiwan. A statue of the founding father in the southern city of Tainan was pulled down Feb. 22 by Taiwanese independence activists, who painted the words "KMT down" and "ROC out" on its front and back. It was in that context that Ma praised Sun's concern for the Taiwanese, saying that it was Sun's frustration with the loss of Taiwan to Japan in 1895 that caused him to first attempt a revolution against China's Qing imperial government. Sun later sent operatives to Taiwan to support anti-Japanese activities, Ma said, developing a close relationship with several local key figures in the fight against colonial Japan such as Chiang Wei-shui. Sun also recruited Taiwanese freedom fighters to help in the revolution that founded the ROC and the later campaign against invading Japanese forces, including Lien Chen-tung, father of former ROC Vice President Lien Chan, and Hsieh Tung-min, who later became a vice president himself. Ma also spoke of the 18 Taiwanese delegates who took part in the National Constitutional Assembly in Nanjing in 1946. "We have always been grateful to the devotion to Taiwan by the martyrs," he said. "The contributions they made will by no means be erased by undemocratic violence to topple the statue (of Dr. Sun) and throw up abuses," the president said. Also on Wednesday, 24 groups, including the minority New Party, initiated a campaign to mobilize members of the public to show their respect to Sun on the anniversary. (By Lee Shu-hua and Lilian Wu)
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