Flag torched in Taipei anti-Powell rally

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 30 October, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 30 October, 2004, 12:00am

Scores of pro-independence activists set fire to a mainland flag after draping it over an effigy of the Statue of Liberty in a protest yesterday at the de facto US embassy in Taipei.

Shouting slogans like 'drop the one-China policy', 'support Taiwanese sovereignty' and 'refuse reunification', the demonstrators condemned US Secretary of State Colin Powell over his recent statement that Taiwan was not a sovereign, independent state.

'Powell said Taiwan isn't a sovereign nation. We are all very angry about that,' one protester shouted.

'We want the Americans to correct their mistake once again.'

The activists staged a street drama saying they had to burn the mainland flag 'to allow the Statue of Liberty to see the clear sky again'.

Brief scuffles erupted as police moved in to douse the flames. No injuries were reported.

Huang Chao-tang, of the fringe Taiwan Independence Party, read a statement demanding the US 'support Taiwan in instituting a new constitution, rectifying the name of Taiwan so that the island can become a normal country'.

The statement was later accepted by a representative from the American Institute in Taiwan.