Focus Taiwan: Hundreds of thousands march in pro-, anti-Han rallies in Kaohsiung

The pro-Han camp marched in northern Kaohsiung to garner support for Han to unseat the incumbent Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) in the Jan. 11, election, while the anti-Han rally took place in the southern part of the city, urging Han’s recall as mayor and expressing their dissatisfaction with his representing the KMT against Tsai after only months as Kaohsiung mayor.

Starting at around 1:11 p.m., Han’s supporters began their 3.1-km walk from Shennong Road and arrived at the finishing point on Wentz Road at around 2:30 p.m.

Holding Republic of China flags, they shouted “remove Tsai Ing- wen” and “Han Kuo-yu to win the election,” while singing Han’s campaign songs along the way.

According to the Han camp, about 350,000 supporters had joined the rally as of 2:30 p.m.

Han had previously planned to lead the march but changed his plan due to fears over possible clashes between the two camps. The rally was led instead by KMT vice presidential candidate Chang San-cheng (張善政) and Han’s campaign manager Eric Chu (朱立倫).

When the rally reached the finishing point, Han addressed his supporters, saying that Taiwan needs a government free from corruption and one that will be able to help its people get rich.

He said the government should be well aware of what people are suffering, adding that an ideal government should make efforts to balance the development of northern and southern Taiwan, urging supporters to vote for him in the presidential election.

Han led his supporters in shouting “Long Live the Republic of China.”

Meanwhile, the anti-Han rally organized by several civil groups, including Wecare Kaohsiung, which urged Han’s recall, started their march from Wufu 1st Road at around 1:30 p.m. and walked about 4 km, arriving at Chihsien 1st Road at 4:40 p.m.

Holding a huge banner that read “Restore Kaohsiung, Safeguard Taiwan,” about 500,000 people, according to the anti-Han camp, shouted “Han Kuo-yu, step down.”

Wecare Kaohsiung founder Aaron Yin (尹立), one of four people who initiated a petition to recall Han, said they will send the initial 30,000 signatures to the Central Election Committee Dec. 26 to kick off an official procedure to recall Han. Yin’s announcement triggered an ovation among the anti-Han marchers.

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