Hong Kong’s election results have raised the specter of “independence” being promoted in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory. Meanwhile, new generations of Taiwanese are not so quick to give up on China if China wanted to put Taiwan under pressure. And the pressure from China appears to be having an effect: Taiwan’s young people may be getting a little less apathetic about Taiwan’s parent country.
The dichotomy of two coasts with dramatically different attitudes was symbolized by an election rally in Taipei on Saturday during which Prime Minister Ko Wen-je made a poignant call for Taiwanese youth to respect their parents’ history and support the island’s long-running relations with China.
“As the first generation of offspring of China, I make this call to my younger family members and suggest that they take the China and Taiwan experience as the starting point from which to build their life,” Ko said.
But the speakers at the rally in Taipei were not your average 42- and 53-year-old Taiwanese middle class — they were mostly under 40 and were overwhelmingly pro-independence.
We identified four people in their late 20s to early 30s (along with an older woman and a few others who spoke on behalf of a pro-independence group) who are members of the pro-independence Youth First Party and the Irin Law Hon Democratic Union.
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