Have been showing my little sister round Taipei, which occasioned the customary visit to Taipei 101. After the guided audio tour around the top – which is basically an extended advertisement by the Taipei City Government – and the trawl through the layers of gift shops set up to make it feel like a complete tourist trap, we descended back to ground level and caught sight of this guy driving around the district:
The message on top of the car says “Long live China” then underneath it says “We’re all one family”. He’s a pro-reunification activist – hoping that China can incorporate Taiwan, which is currently an independent country – although the majority of people I saw reacted to him more with incredulity or amusement than anything else.
The area outside Taipei 101 is often an interesting place to visit, as Falungong practitioners meet with mainland tour groups, along with other tourists. Falungong is banned in Mainland China, after a mass rally was organized by practitioners, which Beijing saw as a threat to its authority.
Paul Farrelly, a doctoral candidate at Australian National University and contributor to eRenlai, did a slideshow on the Falungong protesters which gather around the main sites visited by mainland tourist groups in Taipei, watch it here: