The Young Voices at the United Nations Membership for Taiwan Rally 2015

On Saturday, September 12, dozens gathered at One Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, in front of the United Nations headquarters in NYC. Attendees eagerly listened and chanted along with the Taiwan-United Nations Alliance (TAIUNA) from Taiwan. Speakers spoke strongly for Taiwan’s entrance into the United Nations.

While Taiwanese media coverage primarily focused on the activities at One Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, many of them did not follow the 200 proponents of Taiwan to the final stage of the rally: Times Square.

The trek from UN Plaza to the heart of Time Square, like a baton, has been passed through time, from the old to the youth. It is at Times Square that many young Taiwanese Americans share their support, ideas and, most importantly, their love for Taiwan to the rest of the world. For more than 20 years, the United Nations Membership for Taiwan Rally has become a joint project among first-generation Taiwanese activists who are now grandpas and grandmas, to college students and young professionals born and raised in the United States.

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As the crowd approached Times Square, attendees were greeted by The Lintet, a jazz band led by well-known Taiwanese American Peter Lin, playing a jazz rendition of Taiwan’s traditional songs.

Jenny Wang, rally host and co-founder of Outreach for Taiwan, speaks about why 200 people gather in the Big Apple on a Saturday afternoon. The answer is easy: we care about Taiwan

Lily Lee, student from National Taiwan University, travels to New York City to show her support. Where is she from? Not Chinese Taipei. Not ROC. Taiwan.

Born and raised in the USA,Victor Liu talks about his soon-to-be-born baby daughter, and that she will learn that her roots are from Taiwan…

…He ends his speech showing that he not only loves his future daughter, but also Taiwan.

President of the Taiwanese American Professional – New York Chapter (TAP-NY), Alex Shih, talks about why Taiwan matters to him. As he says, Taiwan is more than just bubble tea and Jay Chou.

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(Photo from Beca Lee)

These are just a few examples of speakers at this year’s United Nations Membership for Taiwan rally. Other speakers included Albert Tseng of the Formosan Association of Public Affairs (FAPA), Kiki Lee of Taiwanese American Association of New York (TAA-NY), and Kiwi Lu, a graduate of National Taiwan University, and they are a reflection of the diversity of contemporary Taiwan. This rally is not simply just about Taiwan’s older generation talking about their continued support and push for Taiwan’s entrance into the United Nations. It is also an ongoing story of how the younger generation is awakening and of how American proponents of Taiwan work together in the community for a common cause.

Every year, there are always stories of triumph and passion about what brings individuals to the annual event. For example, this year, one couple drove 10 hours from Cleveland all the way to New York City because “we just want to show our support for Taiwan”.  An adorable crew of children showed up with their parents (some used to be planners of the event in previous years), all adorned in Keep Taiwan Free shirts with flags while hugging Formosan black teddy bears. Multiple generations, from grandparents to their grandchildren, stood together to voice their support and love for Taiwan.

Taiwanese media, you may focus on the older generation, but please don’t forget to also pay attention to the future generations.

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For more photos, click here.

Special thanks to:
Taiwanese American Council of Greater New York (TAC-GNY)
Formosan Association of Public Affairs (FAPA)
Taiwanese American Association of New York (TAA-NY)
Taiwanese Association of America of New Jersey (TAA-NJ)
Taiwanese Association of American of Northern New Jersey (TAA-NNJ)
National Alliance of Taiwan Women’s Association of New Jersey (NATWA-NJ)
Taiwanese American Professionals of New York (TAP-NY)
all our volunteers and freedom fighters of the past and present
…and everyone who supports the movement. 

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