Aquia Tsay, chairman of the Free Taiwan Party, was assaulted on December 3, during a protest against the visit to Taiwan of Chen Deming from the Peoples’ Republic of China. Chen is director of the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits and was making a factory tour in Yilan County when his motorcade was confronted by fifty members of the Free Taiwan Party and a group of Falun Gong members. Republic of China in-exile police rushed the demonstrators, targeting Aquia, who fell to the ground during the assault. In the melee, a suspected PRC security agent kicked Aquia and grabbed at his neck.
Aquia told the news media that the objective of the protest was to let Chen hear the voice of Taiwanese that Taiwanese do not condone the ambition of China to annex Taiwan. The protesters had signs, proclaiming “Taiwan Independence” and “One Taiwan, One China, Two Countries on Opposite Sides of the Strait”. They also shouted “Chen Deh-min, go back to China!”
In the moments before the attack on Aquia, police and plain-clothes security forces blocked the peaceful demonstrators from getting close to Chen. Some pushing and shoveling occurred between the police and the protesters. As Chen concluded his visit, Aquia’s group tried to block the motorcade from leaving but they were outnumbered and expelled by the police. Aquia got into a heated exchange with the police who were shoving and pushing. During the struggle, Aquia fell to the ground and attempted to crawl out of the crowd
According to a Facebook post by Aquia, there were several non-uniformed men, speaking with an accent different from Taiwanese, at the scene. Aquia already had an agreement with the police to have a non-violent protest and the police would only keep them from direct contact with Chen. However, when the motorcade showed up, these men with a foreign accent ordered the ROC police to confine the protesters and hold them to the ground. When Aquia was moved by the police, he was kicked and attacked at the neck by one of the non-uniformed security agents. After the attack, Aquia’s assailant loudly cursed at the police: “You Taiwanese policemen are useless!”
Taiwan’s international status remains unresolved since World War II. Both parties, Communist and Nationalist, of the “one China” want Taiwan, however, the island’s sovereignty remains the responsibility of the United States under terms of the San Francisco Peace Treaty that ended World War II with Japan. The thawing of the Cold War that locked Taiwan in limbo has not yet led to a national referendum on the island’s political future.
Aquia said that it was a sad day for Taiwan when PRC agents can give orders to ROC police. No arrests have been made over the attack on Aquia and the identity of the mystery agent remains unknown.