President attends New Year's Day flag-raising ceremony

2018/01/01 12:06:31 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
President attends New Year's Day flag-raising ceremony

Taipei, Jan. 1 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Monday attended the New Year's Day flag-raising ceremony in front of the Presidential Office, where a concert was held after the ceremony to celebrate the New Year.

After the ceremony, Tsai posted a message on her Facebook page wishing Taiwanese people a happy 2018.

At around 6:20 a.m., Tsai and Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁), accompanied by Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), stepped out of the Presidential Office for the ceremony, which started 10 minutes later.

It was the second time that Tsai was attending the flag-raising ceremony in her capacity as the president, since taking office in May 2016. When the flag was being hoisted, Tsai sang the national anthem without skipping the part that says "the fundamentals of my party," as she had done on previous occasions.

The words "the fundamentals of my party" are seen as pertaining to the opposition Kuomintang (KMT), the party of the Republic of China's founding father Sun Yat-sen (孫逸仙).

The singing of the national anthem was led by a group of exemplary soldiers from various branches of the armed forces, who were recently commended for their performance, as well as some Taiwanese athletes who participated in the 2017 Taipei Universiade and the country's soccer team.

The flag-hoisting ceremony was also attended by many citizens, some of whom went there directly from New Year's Eve countdown parties.

Members of the public could be seen with national flag stickers on their faces as they waved the national flag and took pictures.

After singing the national anthem, Tsai went onstage to wave to the crowd and welcome the first day of 2018.

During the concert, bands from Taipei Jianguo High School, Taipei First Girls High School and Zhong-Shan Girls Senior High School performed, while several other groups such as Wooden Glasses and Funky Brothers, also appeared on stage.

Near the venue of the flag-raising ceremony, there were sporadic protests, including one by some pro-independence groups that shouted slogans, saying the ROC is an external regime.

(By Yeh Su-ping, Ku Chuan, Liang Pei-chi and Frances Huang)
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