Taiwanese Community

              The Taiwanese Association participated in the Asian Pacific Festival in DC in May 2009

 East Coast Taiwanese Summer Conferences

I have been active in the various Taiwanese Association activities since coming to the United States in 1962.  It so happened that I participated in starting the annual summer conferences of the East Coast in 1970 when I was studying at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.  I wrote a report in Chinese in 2009 about the beginnings of the summer conferences for the celebration of the 40th anniversary, “回憶第一屆美東台灣人夏令會.” 


In this long article, I included the processes by which I recovered the facts that were almost forgotten.  This approach is a habit I had developed as a historian of world religions.  Carole Yang (楊遠薰) edited the article in July 2011 by abridging it in a more readable form.

 Democracy in Taiwan

The Democratic Progressive Party 民主進步黨 (DPP) (click here) has been instrumental in transforming Taiwan from an authoritarian/dictatorial state into a very vibrant though still unstable democratic country.  With my primary interests in science and democracy in my religious and philosophical thinking, I have been very supportive of the democratic reforms and movements advocated by DPP.  One of the most important principles is the right of the people in Taiwan to decide their own political future.

The first ever popular presidential election was held in 1996.  DPP won its first presidential election in 2000, but lost it very badly in 2008.  A woman, Dr. Tsai Ing-Wen 蔡英文 (click here), has gradually brought DPP from ashes back to life and is ready to win back the presidency.

Tsai Ing-Wen visited Washington DC for the first time on September 12, 2011 as the DPP presidential candidate.  The election would be held on January 14, 2012.  I joined many people to welcome her at Dulles Airport and attended a rally held at Montgomery College Culture Arts Center in Silver Spring, MD, on September 14.  Being one of the photographers, I took many photos at both occasions with my Nikon D7000 and 18-200mm lens.  Inspired by these events, I decided to create two music slideshows with my iMac and the Aperture software.  The creation of music slideshows was new to me, but I found it a lot of fun as well as meaning.

    For the rally at Dulles Airport, click:  Airport Rally

    For the rally at the Arts Center, click:  Arts Center Rally

On January 14, Tsai Ing-Wen lost the election.  It was a great disappointment to those of us who had supported her and her vision for the future of Taiwan.  One could cite many reasons for the loss.  The following article published in Washington Post seems to have provided some important reasons:

    WP Analysis

It is hoped that the people in Taiwan would assert and be given their right to determine their own political future according to proper democratic processes.  Their future should not be manipulated unjustly by the media, financial and political powers in Taiwan, China, and elsewhere.

After the defeat on January 14, 2012, Tsai Ing-Wen made up her mind to try again in 2016.

To kick off her presidential campaign for 2016, Tsai visited Washington DC on June 1, 2015.  I was one of the designated photographers.  The following is the album of photos taken at the DC Reagan Airport on June 1.

    Airport Rally

The following is the album of photos taken at the College Park Marriott Hotel & Conference Center on June 4.

    Conference Rally

The video below shows an interesting interaction between Tsai and two children during the rally.


New York Times provided the following report about Tsai Ing-Wen’s overwhelming victory on January 15, 2016:

    New York Times Report

Needles to say that I was ecstatic about the democratic transformation in Taiwan.  Tsai Ing-Wen would be inaugurated on May 20, 2016.  Best wishes for Taiwan!!!

© Sung-Peng Hsu 2011