Three legislators of Taiwan, Hsu Yung-ming, Yu Wan-ju, and Chang Hung-lu led the march to United Nations Headquarters during the Sept. 16 ‘Keep Taiwan Free’ march. Hundreds of activists held a rally in New York City on Saturday afternoon to protest Taiwan’s exclusion from the United Nations. (Paul Huang/The Epoch Times)Three legislators of Taiwan, Hsu Yung-ming, Yu Wan-ju, and Chang Hung-lu led the march to United Nations Headquarters during the Sept. 16 ‘Keep Taiwan Free’ march. Hundreds of activists held a rally in New York City on Saturday afternoon to protest Taiwan’s exclusion from the United Nations. (Paul Huang/The Epoch Times)

Hundreds of activists held a rally in New York City on Saturday afternoon to protest Taiwan’s exclusion from the United Nations and other international organizations. Taiwanese Americans, Chinese dissidents, and international supporters of Taiwan joined force with activists and politicians from Taiwan to push for Taiwan’s international participation as U.N. General Assembly started its new session.

China’s role in excluding Taiwan from the international community of nations was highlighted as activists kicked off their march to the UN Headquarters from the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Hell’s Kitchen. In support of the rally prominent Chinese dissidents Yang Jianli and Teng Biao gave speeches in front of the consulate.

“China’s relentless and increasingly oppressive tactics to exclude Taiwan from the global community have only harmful consequences for mankind,” said Yang Jianli, who was jailed by the Chinese government from 2002 to 2006 for his pro-democracy activism. “Surely Taiwan has much to contribute to the world, and the UN should open its doors to the vibrant democracy of 23 million people.”

Chinese dissident Yang Jianli gives a speech on Sept. 16 in front of China's Consulate General Office in New York City to protest China's blocking of Taiwan from the United Nations and other international organization. (Paul Huang/The Epoch Times)

Chinese dissident Yang Jianli gives a speech on Sept. 16 in front of the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in New York City to protest China’s blocking of Taiwan from the United Nations and other international organizations. (Paul Huang/The Epoch Times)

The “Keep Taiwan Free” rally was organized by the New York-based Committee for Admission of Taiwan to the UN and was held to coincide with the 72nd Regular Session of the UN General Assembly, which convened on Sept. 12 and runs through Sept. 25. Among those attending was a delegation from the Taiwan United Nations Alliance (TAIUNA)—a Taiwanese NGO that for 14 years has organized an annual trip to the United States to work for Taiwan’s inclusion in the UN.

A crowd of 600 participated in the event, according to organizers. Starting at 4 pm, the marchers walked across Manhattan and eventually reached the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza in front of the UN Headquarters at around 5pm. The march was peaceful and caught the attention of many New Yorkers who were strolling through midtown on Saturday afternoon.

Hundreds of activists held a march on Saturday afternoon from the Consulate General of the People's Republic of China in Hell's Kitchen to the UN Headquarters on the other side of the Manhattan, to protest Taiwan's exclusion from the United Nations and other international organizations. (Paul Huang/The Epoch Times)

Hundreds of activists held a march on Saturday afternoon from the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Hell’s Kitchen to the UN Headquarters on the other side of the Manhattan, to protest Taiwan’s exclusion from the United Nations and other international organizations. (Paul Huang/The Epoch Times)

Ting, a Taiwanese student studying in America, said that she participated in the rally because she wants her country to be recognized by other people, and she feels strongly about Taiwan having such an identity. An estimated 57,000 Taiwanese students are studying internationally around the world, most of them are in countries that don’t recognize Taiwan’s statehood diplomatically, including the United States, where 21,000 Taiwanese students are believed to be studying.

TAIUNA President Michael Tsai, who is also a former Minister of Defense of Taiwan, said that no one should be barred from participation in the UN. Tsai argued that even Palestine, held to be a “non-state entity” by many, was able to join the U.N. as an observer two years ago. So, “why can’t Taiwan?”

Michael Tsai (middle), Taiwan's former Minister of Defense and president of the Taiwan United Nations Alliance, said that no one should be barred from participation in the UN. (Paul Huang/The Epoch Times)

Michael Tsai (middle), Taiwan’s former Minister of Defense and president of the Taiwan United Nations Alliance, said that no one should be barred from participation in the UN. (Paul Huang/The Epoch Times)

Hsu Yung-ming, a Taiwanese legislator from the New Power Party flew from Taiwan and joined the rally. “Many people say the push for UN membership is impossible for Taiwan, but they fail to see what’s at stake here,” said Hsu. “Taiwan needs to make its voice heard by the international community. We need to make this an issue, and for the world to see there are 23 million people currently being excluded from the UN.”

Chang Hung-lu and Yu Wan-ju, two other legislators from the Democratic Progressive Party—the current ruling party of Taiwan—also joined the rally. “The fact that China has the power to exclude others from the United Nations is a violation of its founding philosophy, which is supposed to include everyone,” said Yu.

June Lin, one of the young Taiwanese Americans during the Sept. 16 'Keep Taiwan Free' march, gave a speech at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza next to the UN Headquarters. (Paul Huang/The Epoch Times)

June Lin, one of the young Taiwanese-Americans during the Sept. 16 ‘Keep Taiwan Free’ march, gave a speech at the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza next to the UN Headquarters. (Paul Huang/The Epoch Times)

At Dag Hammarskjold Plaza next to the UN Headquarters, activist students took turns giving speeches supporting Taiwan’s return to the UN. June Lin, one of the young Taiwanese-Americans, said that the recent trial of Lee Ming-che, a Taiwanese citizen imprisoned by China, is the latest example why Taiwan needs to make its voice heard on the international stage.

Taiwan under the name “Republic of China” was kicked out of the UN by the 1971 General Assembly Resolution 2758 to make way for the People’s Republic of China. Taiwan has tried without success to reenter the U.N. since 1993.

 

 

 

 

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In a video released by the Chinese court, a visibly shaken Lee Ching-yu can be seen reading out a statement in court that admits his guilt for “subverting” the Chinse government. Lee’s wife can be seen sitting in the last row of the court room. (Weibo Screenshot/Yueyang Intermediate People's Court)In a video released by the Chinese court, a visibly shaken Lee Ching-yu can be seen reading out a statement in court that admits his guilt for “subverting” the Chinse government. Lee’s wife can be seen sitting in the last row of the court room. (Weibo Screenshot/Yueyang Intermediate People's Court)

The Chinese regime held a show trial to convict Lee Ming-che, a Taiwanese human rights activist who has been imprisoned in China since March of this year under charges of “subversion.”

Lee is the first Taiwanese citizen ever to become a political prisoner in China, and the case has attracted considerable international attention. Human rights groups and Lee’s wife blasted the Chinese regime’s treatment of Lee and have criticized the trial as a mockery of justice.

Lee Ming-che disappeared in late March 2017 when he attempted to enter China via Zhuhai, Guangdong, from Macau. The Chinese regime later confirmed that Lee was detained and charged with “subversion.” Lee’s alleged crimes consisted of sending books and materials to friends in China who are interested in human rights, and engaging in online chat group discussions with other Chinese human rights advocates.

After 170 days in jail, the 42-year-old Lee went on trial in Yueyang Intermediate People’s Court in Hunan on Sept. 11. The hearing was broadcast live on the court’s Weibo (China’s equivalent of Twitter), supposedly to demonstrate that the trial was fair and open. Lee was tried along with his co-defendant Peng Yuhua who allegedly also participated in the “subversive” online chat group.

In the video, a visibly shaken Lee pleaded guilty to charges of “subverting state power,” and can be seen reading out a statement in court that blamed “false portrayals of China in Taiwanese media” for his action. He also expressed his “gratitude” to the Chinese authorities and said he saw how “fair and civilized” China’s justice system is.

As is typical with China’s judicial system, nowhere in the recorded video of the proceeding did Lee’s court-assigned “attorney” speak in Lee’s defense, nor make any statement contradicting the prosecutors’ charges. The trial ended with both Lee and Peng’s “confessions,” and the court announced that a hearing on sentencing will be held in future date.

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Lee’s wife Lee Ching-yu who was allowed to travel to China and attend the court on Monday, released a statement asking the Taiwanese people to forgive her husband for the “embarrassing confession” he made in court under duress. Chinese authorities only allowed Lee to enter court in the middle of the proceedings, and she was seen sitting in the last row of the court room.

The court’s Weibo published several photos of the trial, including one that shows Lee Ching-yu reunited with her husband and holding his hands.

Since his arrest in March, Lee Ming-che was not allowed any communication with the outside world—not even his wife and family. Lee’s wife later posted on Facebook that she felt Lee was afraid of saying anything in front of her, and all that the couple could do was to hold hands and look at each other.

“I am proud of you, Lee Ming-che!” Lee’s wife Lee Ching-yu posted a photo on Facebook showing support for her husband prior to Monday’s court trial. (Lee Ching-yu’s Facebook)

Lee Ching-yu has launched a relentless and high profile public campaign to seek her husband’s release. Previously, Lee attempted to travel to China in April but was rejected from boarding at the Taoyuan airport as her travel permit to mainland China was cancelled by the Chinese regime. She later traveled to the United States in May and testified at a U.S. Congressional hearing. She also met with various human rights NGOs and Trump administration officials.

The Taiwanese public has reacted to the trial with anger. Many Taiwanese netizens have been using the hashtag “We are all Lee Ming-che” on Facebook and other social media to express their solidarity with Lee.

Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council, which serves as the country’s official agency dealing with the mainland Chinese regime, dispatched a team of advisors and assistants to accompany Lee Ching-yu to China. Tt also released a statement after Monday’s trial that says that it is “disappointed” that the Chinese government did not observe due process in the trial.

Despite this, many inside Taiwan still perceive the government’s response to the case as too weak and insufficient to demonstrate Taiwan’s resolve.

Previously, Taiwan’s Tsai Ing-wen administration had sought to minimize confrontation with the hostile Chinese regime on the other side of the strait. After reports surfaced that there was some friction between Lee Ching-yu’s high profile campaign and the Taiwanese government’s low profile approach to the case, the Tsai administration publicly pledged to ramp up efforts to rescue Lee Ming-che,

Lee is notable for being the first ever Taiwanese citizen to be recorded as a political prisoner in China by the political prisoner database maintained by U.S. Congressional Executive Commission On China (CECC).

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With the swearing in of Tsai Ing-wen as president of Taiwan on May 20, outgoing president Ma Ying-jeou moved out of the presidential residence and back to his old, unimpressive-looking third floor apartment in the district of Wenshan in Taiwan.
Chinese internet users could scarcely believe their eyes upon discovering this detail from a news clip about Ma’s post-presidential situation—how could it be that the residence of the leader of a democratic Chinese island be less luxurious than the lowest ranking Communist Party official, or even a prison for purged Party cadres?
According to a video clip posted to popular news portal Sina, former Taiwan president Ma Ying-jeou was returning to the apartment that he had been living in for more than 20 years. The apartment was situated in a residential neighborhood, and conveniently located near eateries, a park, and a food market where Ma would tuck into his favorite dish—noodle soup with shredded pork and preserved vegetables.
Ma’s third-floor apartment. (Sina)
“If there is a police officer about, you know he’s back,” said a local female resident. “He once gave a wave to us folks before leaving.”
On Sina Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, many Chinese netizens contrasted Ma’s living conditions with that of Chinese officials.
“I am not bluffing: Any village chief in China lives far better,” wrote “MaaaaJ_” from Jiangsu.
“His home is worse than Qincheng,” wrote Beijing netizen “The Normal Life of Mai Xiansen.” The netizen is referring to Qincheng Prison, a maximum-security, luxury prison in Beijing for high-profile Party officials.
If Ma had engineered a reunification of Taiwan and China, he could be living a very different post-presidency life, one Chinese netizen hypothesized.
“If unified, Mr. Ma would at least have his own villa, as well as police guards and beautiful housekeepers,” wrote “Bi Te Ke” from Beijing.
This is not the first time that the conduct of elected officials in Taiwan has left the Chinese netizens in amazement. In January 2015, netizens were stunned to see Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je riding the subway without a security detail.

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A college student in central China recently broached two topics deemed sensitive by the Chinese communist regime—he supports a democratic republic and is critical of Mao Zedong—and was soon hauled away for psychiatric treatment.
“I wrote about my faith in the Republic of China; I advocated a unified China under a republic, and the return of democracy. I also wrote that Mao Zedong is the greatest butcher, and expressed other opinions along those lines,” said Lao Yeli to New Tang Dynasty Television (NTD), a New York based Chinese language broadcaster that is part of the Epoch Media Group. “Someone then took a screenshot of my remarks and reported me to the school administration,” he added.
Wholly unamused with their student’s political declarations and his refusal to retract them, the school officials at an unnamed university in Wuhan that the 22-year-old Lao was attending checked him into a mental hospital on March 25 on grounds that he had “personality defects and held extremist ideas.”
Lao told NTD on March 28, while still detained in the psychiatric hospital,that he had aired his opinions on his school’s Tencent QQ microblog. Some Internet users (Lao believes they were paid regime commentators) asked why he had used the flag of Taiwan—the so-called “Blue Sky, White Sun, Red Earth” design—as his microblog display picture.
Taiwan, an island in the South China Sea, is officially known as the Republic of China; the Republic of China is also the state of China from 1919 to 1949. The democratic government of Taiwan and the Chinese communist regime observes the so-called 1992 Consensus, or the understanding that there is one China, and that both governments have a claim to it.
Wishing for mainland China to be democratic, however, is mentally unsound behavior, at least by the reaction of Lao Yeli’s college.
In an interview with Radio Free Asia, Lao said that he had “only accepted two treatments” at the mental hospital, “a standardized physical therapy and a foot therapy,” indicating that he does not appear to have been subject to psychiatric torture, as often takes place in the case of political enemies who are locked in psychiatric detention facilities.
“The hospital originally insisted that I take medications and injections, but I rejected them,” Lao said. He added that he would be discharged from on March 29.
Chen Yongming, a scholar of the Chinese constitution, told NTD that the Chinese regime has been confining college students who espouse democratic ideals to mental institutions since the 1980s, along with “many democracy activists.”
“The Chinese regime adopts this practice to ruin a person’s reputation—others would think that the democracy advocate is mentally challenged, and this would cause society at large to alienate them,” Chen said.
In the early years of the campaign to persecute the Falun Gong spiritual practice, psychiatric torture was also widely used. After intense international attention and pressure, including meticulous documentation of the abuses being conducted, the practice was largely abandoned (though Falun Gong adherents are still detained and tortured in large numbers using conventional means).

Lao doesn’t bear any ill feelings toward the parties who informed on him, but regrets his temporary incarceration.
“To tell the truth, nothing would happen if the person had reported me to the police. There are many in China who say similar things; if arrests were made, half of the Chinese population would be sitting in jail,” Lao told NTD. “Since the school was involved, however they summoned my parents over, and confined me in a mental institution, where I’ve lost my freedom.”
He added: “I guess I’ll be released tomorrow.”

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On Feb. 22, millions of Chinese around the world celebrated “yuanxiao,” or the Lantern Festival. The festival, which has a history of over 2,000 years, also marks the end of the Lunar New Year, an occasion commemorated over the course of a fortnight. The festival is also the Chinese equivalent of Valentine’s Day, because in ancient China single women were allowed to venture outside their homes unchaperoned, a rare opportunity that helped kindle love.
Today, Chinese people in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan usually light up Chinese paper lanterns and set afloat sky lanterns, or small paper hot air balloons, during the festival.
Below are 3 lesser-known traditions but integral parts of the Lantern Festival celebration.
Yanshui Beehive Fireworks Festival in Taiwan on Feb. 22, 2016. (Central News Agency)
Fireworks
Legend says that during the reign of Emperor Guangxu, the eleventh emperor of the Qing Dynasty (1871-1908), Yanshui, a town in southern Taiwan was hit by a plague. After citizens made an offering at a local temple and lit up firecrackers for three straight days, the town was rid of the disease.

The tradition is known in modern times as the “Yanshui Beehive Fireworks Festival.” Participants don motorcycle helmets, visors, fire-resistant clothing, and put on thick gloves as they stand next to so-called “beehives”—massive towers of firework rockets.
Those fortunate—or foolhardy—enough to be struck by rockets are believed to be blessed for the year.
Zou Gu Shi in Xiamen, Fujian Province. (Sina Weibo)
‘Zou Gu Shi,’ or Praying to God
Zou Gu Shi is a tradition associated with the Hakka people, a Chinese ethnicity, and was originally used to pray to Gods for rain and better weather. It has since become a celebratory tradition during the Lantern Festival that inspires people to work hard over the coming year.
The celebration involves the convoy of seven palanquins, or sedan chairs held aloft on poles, each signifying one of ancient China’s virtues, including loyalty, justice and benevolence. Young boys between the age of 7 and 10 dress in traditional Chinese costumes and sit atop the litters, carried through the streets as the crowd cheers on.
The tradition emerged from Hunan Province hundreds of years ago, and was eventually passed on to people living in Fujian Province.
People float river lanterns in Xiaoyuan Town, Sichuan Province. (Sina Weibo)
River Lanterns
Celebratory lanterns are not restricted to those on land. Floating lanterns down the river has been part of the Lantern Festival since the Tang Dynasty. In China and Taiwan, lanterns are placed on the river as a sign of purging the old and welcoming the new, as old water carries the lantern away and new water constantly replaces it.

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While tensions between the United States and North Korea remain high over the North’s nuclear and missile ambitions, one Chinese think tank researcher decided to up the ante—declaring that China should use force against Taiwan if the U.S. attacked North Korea.
Yu Yingli, an assistant researcher with the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies (SIIS), a think tank affiliated with the Shanghai government, made the bellicose remark in the television program “From Phoenix to the World,” aired on Feb. 15 on the broadcaster Phoenix Television. Phoenix is based in Hong Kong but widely understood to be part of Beijing’s overseas propaganda apparatus.
“In the past, we used to rule out linking the North Korea nuclear problem with Taiwan,” said Yu. “But now, I think that if the United States wants to stubbornly go down the military path [against North Korea], China could consider thinking about North Korea and Taiwan as one problem,” she continued.
“If United States does not rule out the use of military force to resolve the North’s problems, our longstanding view is also that we should never rule out the use of force against Taiwan.”
After the Chinese Communist Party won the Civil War in 1949, resulting in the Nationalist Party retreating to Taiwan, the regime has sought the assimilation of the island into the People’s Republic of China, including by the use of military force if necessary. Taiwanese, on the other hand, have enjoyed their de facto political independence since the 1990s; the island-nation just held its sixth presidential election in January this year.
On the popular online forum Kdnet, Yu became a laughingstock among sophisticated Internet users. One with the name “ych0526” equated Yu’s suggestion to a father who held his own son hostage after being surrounded by police in a bank robbery.
While some netizens question whether China could win if it were to go to war with Taiwan, a commentator wrote: “Well you know the education standard in China when people like this get doctorates.”
Others vented about North Korea. “I support the United States of America to remove this evil regime,” one comment said, which was forwarded and liked by many other users.

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The earthquake that struck southern Taiwan on Feb. 6 has generated sympathy from around the world—but it has resonated with people in China in particular, effectively holding up a mirror to their own society in showing how corruption is dealt with in a democratic society.
Some of the most memorable images to emerge in the wake of the quake in Taiwan were of collapsed buildings whose walls had been packed with tin cans—an obvious instance of corruption on the part of the developers.
An earthquake in Sichuan Province, China, in 2008, revealed similar problems of corruption in buildings, as schools collapsed and crushed thousands of children.
But the way the two societies dealt with the problem differed greatly.
On Feb. 10, a local court in the southern Taiwanese city of Tainan brought into custody Ling Minghui, the developer of the now toppled Wei-guan Golden Dragon Building, and two other former executives, without bail. They were suspected of negligent homicide, reported Taiwanese media.
Pictures of Ling appeared on the front page of four biggest newspapers in Taiwan—Apple Daily, Liberty Times, United Daily and China Times. Though an investigation would determine if Wang and his executives were guilty of any crime, he was branded a “vile developer” on the front page of the papers.
Ling’s detention quickly drew attention of Internet users on Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter-like service. Many were full of praise for the quick legal action—”what a democratic country,” one said; “the Republic of China is the hope of mankind,” said another; and “the Chinese Dream is in Taiwan,” a third said.
The “Chinese Dream” is a term crafted by Party propaganda officials referring to a set of ideals and aspirations for China, though it is often derided as vacuous.
Soldiers at the site of the collapsed Wei-guan Golden Dragon Building in Tainan, Taiwan, on Feb. 7, 2016. (Huang Puchen/Epoch Times)
Other Internet users reflected on the contentious issue of the relationship between China and Taiwan. One wrote: “Do we dare still pursue unification?” Another from Fujian Province put it more bluntly “Taiwan should not be united with China. Life is not easy under the rule of the Chinese Communist Party.”
Many netizens compared it to what happened after the Sichuan earthquake in 2008. A netizen from Tianjin wrote: “Have developers of collapsed schools in Sichuan earthquake been arrested?” Another with the name “Jared_Wu” from Guangdong Province said: “The number of casualties was higher for the Sichuan earthquake when the problem of shoddy buildings was exposed. What’s different is that we arrested reporters who dared to expose this truth.”
The Sichuan earthquake in 2008 caused nearly 70,000 deaths, according to official statistics. However, victims had to deal with more than the natural disaster—Chinese authorities intimidated and unlawfully detained parents and relatives of children who died, and harassed activists and lawyers who tried to assist them, according to a report by Amnesty International.
“When will China be able to do what Taiwan has done?” asked a netizen with the name “shirley_yeye” from Zhejiang Province.

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TAINAN, Taiwan—Rescuers were searching late Saturday for more than 100 people still missing after a powerful, shallow earthquake struck southern Taiwan before dawn and caused a high-rise residential building to collapse, killing at least 13 people and injuring hundreds.
Nearly 340 people were rescued from the rubble in Tainan, the city hit worst by the quake. About 2,000 firefighters and soldiers scrambled with ladders, cranes and other equipment to the ruins of the 17-floor residential building, which folded like an accordion onto its side after the quake struck.
Local authorities said Saturday night that more than 100 people remained missing and that rescuers were racing to find them. Taiwan’s official Central News Agency reported that 172 people were missing.
The quake came two days before the start of Lunar New Year celebrations that mark the most important family holiday in the Chinese calendar. The building had 256 registered residents, but far more people could have been inside when it fell because the population might have swelled ahead of the holiday, when families typically host guests.
Rescue workers carry a woman on a strecher from a collapsed building after an earthquake in Tainan, Taiwan, on Feb. 6, 2016. The powerful, shallow earthquake struck southern Taiwan before dawn Saturday, collapsing a high-rise residential complex. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
Local media said the building included a care center for newborns and mothers, and a newborn was among the dead in the disaster.
Most people were caught asleep when the magnitude-6.4 earthquake occurred at about 4 a.m., 22 miles (35 kilometers) southeast of Yujing. It struck only 6 miles (10 kilometers) underground, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
The high-rise building “first starting shaking horizontally, then up and down, then a big shake right to left,” said Tainan resident Lin Bao-gui, a secondhand car salesman whose cars were smashed when the building collapsed across the street from him.
“I stayed in my bed but jumped up when I heard the big bang that was the sound of the building falling,” he said.
Rescue workers remove a victim from a collapsed building from an early morning earthquake in Tainan, Taiwan, on Feb. 6, 2016. A powerful, shallow earthquake struck southern Taiwan before dawn Saturday. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
Authorities in Tainan said 13 people were killed, including 11 who were found at the ruins of the fallen building. The national Emergency Management Information center said 477 people were injured, with 380 of them discharged from hospitals by Saturday evening.
Rescuers found the bodies of a 10-day-old infant, three other children and six adults at the collapsed building, the information center said. One other death was reported at the site, but details were not immediately available.
Authorities said two people were killed by falling objects elsewhere in Tainan.
Rescuers pulled out at least 248 survivors from the collapsed building, the emergency management information center said.
Throughout Tainan, 337 people were rescued, the city government said.
A rescue team member searches for missing people in a collapsed building, after an early morning earthquake in Tainan, Taiwan, on Feb. 6, 2016. A 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck southern Taiwan early Saturday, toppling at least one high-rise residential building and trapping people inside. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
The Taiwanese news website ET Today reported that a mother and daughter were among the survivors from the building, and that the girl drank her urine while waiting to be rescued, which happened sooner than expected.
Rescuers went apartment to apartment, drawing red circles near windows of apartments they already had searched.
“I went to the top floors of the middle part of the building, where we found five people, one of whom was in bed and already dead,” said Liu Wen-bin, a 50-year-old rescuer from Taichung. “Some people were found in the shower, some in the bedroom.”
Elsewhere in Tainan, dozens of other people were rescued or safely evacuated from damaged structures or buildings declared unsafe following the quake, including a market and a seven-floor building, authorities said. A bank building also careened, but no one was injured or trapped.
All told, nine buildings collapsed and five careened in Tainan, the emergency management information center said.
A female is rescued from a collapsed building complex after an early morning earthquake in Tainan, Taiwan, on Feb. 6, 2016. A 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck southern Taiwan early Saturday, toppling at least one high-rise residential building and trapping people inside. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
As dawn broke, Taiwanese TV showed survivors being brought gingerly from the high-rise, including an elderly woman in a neck brace and others wrapped in blankets. The trappings of daily life—a partially crushed air conditioner, pieces of a metal balcony, windows—lay twisted in rubble.
People with their arms around firefighters were being helped from the building, and cranes were being used to search darkened parts of the structure for survivors.
Men in camouflage, apparently military personnel, marched into one area of collapse carrying large shovels.
The emergency management information center said 1,236 rescuers from outside Tainan were deployed, including 840 from the army, along with six helicopters and 23 rescue dogs.
A man breaks down after seeing the body of a relative recovered from a collapsed building following an earthquake in Tainan, Taiwan, on Feb. 6, 2016. A powerful, shallow earthquake struck southern Taiwan before dawn Saturday. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
Tainan’s municipal government said it mobilized nearly 600 professional and volunteer firefighters.
The quake was felt as a lengthy, rolling shake in the capital, Taipei, on the other side of the island. But Taipei was quiet, with no sense of emergency or obvious damage just before dawn.
Residents in mainland China also reported that the tremor was felt there. The Beijing government offered to help as needed.
Because of the spectacular fall of the residential high-rise, questions surfaced about whether the 1989 structure had shoddy construction. Tainan’s government said the Wei Guan building was not listed as a dangerous structure before the quake, and Taiwan’s interior minister, Chen Wei-zen, said an investigation would examine whether the developer had cut corners during construction.
Earthquakes frequently rattle Taiwan, but most are minor and cause little or no damage. However, a magnitude-7.6 quake in central Taiwan in 1999 killed more

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TAIPEI, Taiwan—Taiwan’s presidential election victor Tsai Ying-wen will enjoy a broad mandate from her commanding victory and her independence-leaning party’s new legislative majority, but managing the island’s delicate relations with China will be tricky.
Already, Beijing warned following her Saturday night victory that it will not budge on its bottom line that Taiwan’s leader must agree that the communist mainland and self-governing island democracy are part of a single Chinese nation. The sides could be in for a lengthy wait as China assesses whether it feels it can trust Tsai.
“To handle cross-Taiwan Strait relations after Tsai’s election will be difficult, not just for Taiwan but also for mainland China,” said Huang Jing, a China expert at Singapore National University’s Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.
Tsai, who will be Taiwan’s first female president, won by 56 percent of the vote to 31 percent for her closest rival Eric Chu of the China-friendly Nationalist Party, which has held the presidency for the last eight years. Her Democratic Progressive Party won 68 of 113 parliamentary seats, giving it its first majority in the assembly long-dominated by the Nationalists.
“I wasn’t surprised a bit by the outcome. The Nationalists had to go. Now Tsai just needs to focus on the economy so I don’t expect she’ll do anything to rile up China,” Taipei tour bus driver Tan Kuang-jung said as a constant drizzle fell over the capital Sunday.
The reasons for the massive win were many.
MORE:Taiwan Elects 1st Female President, Rejects Pro-China PartyChinese People Waking Up, Say Dissidents and Academics
Outgoing President Ma Ying-jeou had been growing increasingly unpopular among Taiwan’s 23 million people, largely due to perceptions that his push for closer economic ties with China was benefiting just a few and the futures of young Taiwanese who have seen wages stagnate and good full-time jobs harder to find.
Fearful of their original candidate’s poor reception among voters, the Nationalists dumped her in favor of Chu, but even he proved unable to raise their prospects. He resigned as party chairman immediately after Saturday’s defeat.
Newly politicized young people had coalesced in opposing yet another trade agreement with China and are believed to have voted heavily for the DPP.
A further backlash against the party’s pro-China stance was prompted by a viral video of 16-year-old Taiwanese entertainer Chou Tzu-yu bowing in apology for waiving the Taiwanese flag on television. Her apology was triggered by her South Korean management company’s fears that China would cancel appearances and endorsement deals.
“What happened surrounding Chou Tzu-yu, that whole controversy, made it almost a given (Tsai) would get over the 50 percent mark,” said Raymond Wu, managing director of Taipei-based political risk consultancy e-telligence.
President-elect Tsai Ying-wen from the Taiwan’s main opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), at her election campaign in Kaohsiung City, southern Taiwan, on Jan. 9, 2016. (Sam Yeh/AFP/Getty Images)
“It’s an indication that someone would continue to bully Taiwan, at all different levels, even a 16-year-old who’s trying to make a name for herself in the entertainment field. This is something most Taiwanese find unacceptable,” Chou said.
The size of the win could also put additional pressure on Tsai and the DPP, said Larry Diamond, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution who closely follows Taiwanese politics.
“When you do as well, as decisively as the DPP has done, there are no excuses” for failure, Diamond said.
While China had largely refrained on commenting about the election beforehand, its Taiwan Affairs Office responded swiftly to the result with a statement reiterating that it would deal only with those who agree that the “two sides of the strait belong to one China.”
That was followed by another statement from the Foreign Ministry stating that “China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity brook no division. The result of the election in Taiwan will not change the basic fact and the consensus of the international community.”
“On such a major issue as safeguarding state sovereignty and territorial integrity, the Chinese government has rock-solid determination and never tolerates any separatist activities aiming at ‘Taiwan independence,’” said the statement, quoting ministry spokesman Hong Lei.
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Taiwan was a Japanese colony from 1895 to 1945, and split from the mainland amid the Chinese civil war in 1949, when leader Chiang Kai-shek moved his Nationalist government to the island.
Reflecting public opinion on Taiwan and mindful of U.S. and other countries’ concerns about cross-strait tensions, Tsai has pledged to maintain the status-quo of de-facto independence without taking steps that might provoke China. In her remarks Saturday, she referred to Taiwan by its formal name, the Republic of China.
However, unlike Ma, she has refused to endorse Beijing’s “one China principle”—although she hasn’t publicly repudiated it either—and told supporters Saturday night that she would work to strengthen Taiwan’s status abroad.
Deprived of formal diplomatic relations with the world’s major nations, Taiwan relies on its stable of 22 allies, mostly small, poor states in the Pacific, Africa and Central America and the Caribbean. Chinese pressure has barred Taiwan from the United Nations and Beijing strictly limits the island’s participation in other groups or requires it to participate only under the name Chinese Taipei.
Supporters cheer at the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) headquarters in Taipei, Taiwan, during Tsai Ying-wen speach for her election victory on Jan. 16, 2016. (Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images)
Depending on how it interprets Tsai’s actions, Beijing could ratchet up the pressure by luring away Taiwan’s remaining diplomatic allies or further shutting it out of international organizations. It could also seek to exact economic costs, possibly by limiting Chinese tourism to the island or reducing Taiwanese imports.
Far less likely is that it would resort to military intimidation despite its threat to invade if Taiwan opts for a formal declaration of independence. Although such tough talk plays well with the Chinese public, past attempts have backfired by generating even more support for pro-independence politicians.
Most probably, Beijing will observe what Tsai does and says before she takes office in May.
“I think the tough will get tougher and the soft will

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TAIPEI, Taiwan—Pro-independence party candidate Tsai Ing-wen claimed victory in Taiwan’s presidential election late Saturday to become the island’s first female head of state.
Tsai said in her victory speech that the election outcome was a further show of how ingrained democracy has become in Taiwan.
The election took place amid concerns that the island’s economy is under threat from China and broad opposition to Beijing’s demands for political unification.
Tsai told reporters at her campaign headquarters that the election results showed that Taiwanese people wish for a government “steadfast in protecting this nation’s sovereignty.” She said she would correct the policy mistakes of the past, but warned that: “The challenges that Taiwan faces will not disappear in one day.”
Nationalist candidate Eric Chu has earlier conceded the massive loss and resigned from leadership of the China-friendly party that has governed Taiwan for eight years.
Tsai pledged to maintain the “status quo of peace and stability” in relations with China. She said both sides have a responsibility to find a mutually acceptable means of interacting, while adding that Taiwan’s international space must be respected. Provocations and pressure from China would destabilize relations, she said.
Outgoing Nationalist President Ma Ying-jeou has served eight years and is constitutionally barred from another term.
Addressing a thin crowd of a few hundred supporters at his campaign headquarters, the Nationalists’ Chu said: “We failed. The Nationalist Party lost the elections. We didn’t work hard enough.” He followed his concession speech by making a long bow.
The newly election legislature will convene next month, while Tsai’s inauguration is scheduled for May.
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Reflecting unease over a slowdown in Taiwan’s once-mighty economy, undeclared voter Hsieh Lee-fung said providing opportunities to the next generation was the most important issue.
“Economic progress is related closely to our leadership, like land reform and housing prices. People aren’t making enough money to afford homes,” Hsieh said.
Tsai has proposed to open 200,000 units of affordable housing in eight years. Her party suggested in May that Taiwan’s laws change to raise wages and cut work weeks from 84 per two weeks to 40 in one.
Her win will introduce new uncertainty in the complicated relationship between Taiwan and mainland China, which claims the island as its own territory and threatens to use force if it declares formal independence.
“Taiwan and China need to keep some distance,” said Willie Yao, a computer engineer voting in Taipei who said he backed Tsai. “The change of president would mean still letting Taiwanese make the decision.”
Tsai has refused to endorse the principle that Taiwan and China are parts of a single nation to be unified eventually. Beijing has made that its baseline for continuing negotiations that have produced a series of pacts on trade, transport and exchanges.
Observers say China is likely to adopt a wait-and-see approach, but might use diplomatic and economy pressure if Tsai is seen as straying too far from its unification agenda.
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Taiwan was a Japanese colony from 1885 to 1945 and split again from China amid civil war in 1949.
Chu was a late entry in the race after the party ditched its original candidate, Hung Hsiu-chu, whose abrasive style was seen as alienating voters.
China has largely declined to comment on the polls, although its chief official for Taiwan affairs this month warned of potential major challenges in the relationship in the year ahead.
Tsai supporters appeared confident that ties with China would weather a change in government.
“As long as Tsai doesn’t provoke the other side, it’s OK,” said former newspaper distribution agent Lenex Chang, who attended Tsai’s rally. “If mainland China democratizes someday, we could consider a tie-up,” he added.
Candidates from across the political spectrum sounded a rare note of unity Saturday after a teenage pop star posted a video online apologizing for having waved the Taiwanese flag on a South Korean TV program.
Sixteen-year-old Chou Tzu-yu, who performs under the name Tzuyu, had apparently been compelled to apologize after her South Korean management company suspended her activities in China for fear of offending nationalist sentiments on the mainland.
Ma, Tsai and Chu all condemned what they described as the bullying of a young girl.

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SINGAPORE—The leaders of China and Taiwan met Saturday for the first time since the formerly bitter Cold War foes split amid civil war 66 years ago, and though no concrete agreement resulted, both hailed the meeting as a sign of a new stability in relations.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou came together on neutral ground in the Southeast Asian city-state of Singapore, walking toward each other in a hotel ballroom in front of a backdrop of yellow—a traditional color of Chinese emperors.
The two men smiled broadly as they shook hands for more than one minute, turning slightly to the side to accommodate a host of photojournalists in the ballroom. No national flags were present—a necessary work-around to overcome China’s refusal to recognize Taiwan’s sovereignty or its government’s formal legitimacy—and the two men were referred to merely as “Mr. Xi” and “Mr. Ma” to further reduce the chances of bruised sensitivities.
In brief opening remarks in front of reporters before going into a closed-door meeting, Xi said, “History will record this day.” He alluded to China’s long-cherished goals of unification with Taiwan, saying, “We are one family,” and “No force can pull us apart.”
Ma said, “Both sides should respect each other’s values and way of life,” while adding that relations between the sides were “the most peaceful and stable they have ever been.”
When they split in 1949, both sides aspired to absorb the other, with each claiming the mantle of the only legitimate government of all of China, Taiwan included. Communist Party-ruled China still demands that Taiwan eventually be unified with the mainland, by force if necessary, while many citizens of democratic Taiwan increasingly prefer to simply maintain the separate status the island has carved out over more than six decades.
Critics of Ma in Taiwan are wary that his meeting with Xi and similar contacts will pave the way for Beijing to assert greater control over the island, further deepening its international isolation.
However, Ma said at a post-meeting news conference that he discussed with Xi the Taiwanese people’s desire for greater participation in global society, particularly for nongovernmental organizations. China refuses to acknowledge the island as anything other than a breakaway province, and pressure from Beijing keeps Taiwan out of the United Nations and other major multinational organizations.
Ma said Xi told him that China would “appropriately handle” Taiwanese moves toward greater participation on a case-by-case basis.
Each leader hopes to seal his legacy as one who helped bring decades of division and mistrust to a mutually acceptable end. But the meeting was more about the symbolism of coming together than about substance. Both sides had said no agreements would be signed or joint statements issued.
In all, the two men met for an hour. Afterward, the two sides held separate news conferences, handled for the Chinese side by spokesman Zhang Zhijun of the Taiwan Affairs Office and for the Taiwanese side by Ma himself.
“We are here today so that the tragedies in our history cannot be replayed,” Zhang quoted Xi as saying at the meeting.
Zhang said that China understands Taiwan’s desire for greater international space, but that Beijing cannot agree to moves that would “split the country,” reflecting its insistence that only it can represent the Chinese nation.
Ma also said they discussed upgrading a hotline between their Cabinet-level agencies responsible for contacts between the sides and agreed to study the issue of establishing representative offices on each other’s soil, a long-shot proposal that has languished for years.
He said he also told Xi about fears in Taiwan that China might make good on its military threats, as seen in the scores of missiles based directly opposite the island and recent Chinese war games that appeared to simulate an attack on Taiwan’s presidential office.
Ma said Xi told him that China’s defense was “comprehensive” and not directed at any parties in particular.
Following his news conference, Ma joined Xi at a banquet at the upscale Shangri-La Hotel, where the meeting was held.
Three decades of hostilities followed the 1949 split, occasionally bursting into warfare in the Taiwan Strait—including over the once heavily militarized Matsu and Kinmen island group—making dialogue all but impossible. Tensions eased after China shifted to endorsing the option of “peaceful unification” alongside military threats in 1979, although it wasn’t until 1993 that representatives of the two governments met in Singapore to establish the groundwork for future talks.
While subsequent talks achieved little, they began bearing fruit after Ma’s election in 2008, resulting in 23 agreements on trade and technical matters. Although that has failed to produce Beijing’s desired progress on political matters, Saturday’s meeting was seen as moving the relationship into a new stage.
“It is because of what has been accumulated over the past seven years that the two sides of the strait can take this historic step today,” Xi said.
In China, where nationalism runs high, many have cheered the meeting as a further step in what they consider an inevitable trend toward unification.
Beijing salesman Huang Xiaojie said the compromise required to arrange the meeting boded well for cross-Strait relations. “At an official level, it will definitely accelerate Taiwan’s return,” he said.
Many in Taiwan are wary of such a result, and several hundred protesters gathered at the Economic Affairs Ministry in Taipei, waving banners warning that Ma was aiming “to sell out Taiwan.”
However, others see Xi’s willingness to meet with the top Taiwanese leader on foreign soil as a nod of respect toward the island’s government—even if the meeting’s negotiated protocol demanded that the two leaders refer to each other with the title “Mr.” rather than “President.”
“If the two sides meet each other, only then will they understand more and gradually become more familiar with each other,” said 50-year-old Taipei resident Peter Sun.
Ma is required to step down after two terms next year, with elections in January to choose his successor. He has denied that the meeting with Xi was aimed at affecting the polls, and the event’s effect on voter sentiment remains to be seen.
Zhang, the Chinese official, said China had no

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TAIPEI, Taiwan—Taiwan’s president will meet Saturday with his counterpart from once icy political rival China, the Taiwanese side said, a historic first culminating nearly eight years of quickly improved relations despite wariness among many Taiwanese of the mainland government.
Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping in Singapore to exchange ideas about relations between the two sides but not sign any deals, presidential spokesman Charles Chen said in a statement early Wednesday.
Presidents of the two sides have not met since Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalists lost the Chinese civil war to Mao Zedong’s Communists in the 1940s, and the Nationalists rebased in Taiwan 160 kilometers (100 miles) away. The two sides have been separately ruled since then.
China insists that the two sides eventually reunite, by force if necessary.
The two sides never talked formally until Ma, the Nationalist president since 2008, lay aside old hostilities to set up lower-level official meetings. China and Taiwan have signed 23 deals covering mainly trade, transit and investment, binding Taiwan closer to its top trading partner and the world’s second-largest economy.
The announcement came overnight and there was no immediate reaction from the Chinese government at that hour, and officials in China could not immediately be reached for comment.
In Washington, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the U.S. would welcome steps taken on both sides of the Taiwan Strait to try to reduce tensions and improve relations, but added, “we’ll have to see what actually comes out of the meeting.”
Ma is stepping down as president next year after his maximum two terms. Since last year, many Taiwanese have criticized the Ma government for getting too close to the mainland. They fear China will eventually leverage economic relations to exert more power over the island.
China is likely to see the meeting as a final chance before elections in Taiwan to press its case for stronger ties in case the Nationalists lose the Jan. 16 presidential poll to an anti-Beijing opposition party, as widely forecast.
Xi warned Taiwan in 2013 against putting off political differences from generation to generation. Last year he suggested a one-country, two-system form of joint rule, in which Beijing controls Taiwan but the island retains some of its autonomy and political system—as does Hong Kong.
The statement from Ma’s spokesman said the two presidents will meet to “solidify Taiwan-mainland relations and keep the status quo across the Taiwan Strait,” which refers to maintaining today’s fragile de facto independence for Taiwan while taking no steps to formalize that independence and engaging in no aggression against China.
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“To hold a meeting across the Taiwan Strait is the consistent goal of leaders on both sides,” Ma’s spokesman said in the statement. “President Ma recently has repeated many times that ‘at the right time and on the right occasion and in the right capacity’ he would not rule out a meeting.”
But the meeting could hurt the Nationalist Party’s already tough odds of winning the presidential election in January. Ma must step down in May due to term limits.
Election front runner Tsai Ing-wen of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party disputes the foundation for the talks that have taken place with China since 2008. Her party won a landslide victory a year ago in local elections.
“This meeting will only hurt the Nationalists at home, as it will cause them to even more be seen as Beijing’s preferred Taiwan party,” said Sean King, senior vice president with the consultancy Park Strategies in New York. “This could be the mainland’s last chance to liaise with the Nationalist Party, while it’s in power, for years to come.”
China-Taiwan talks to date require each side to see the other as part of one country, yet with different ideas about what that means. Tsai says she also wants dialogue with Beijing but not on a one-China basis, making Beijing nervous about future relations.
Taiwanese officials planned to hold a news conference about the Singapore meeting later Wednesday, and Ma planned to hold one on Thursday.

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