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Ten years ago, in Taiwan, the Sunflower Revolution said no to a free trade treaty with China. Students inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement had taken over the Legislative Assembly. For many, this movement marked the awakening of Taiwanese identity. This young generation continues to shape the destiny of the small sovereign island claimed by China.

The sunflower revolution is still shaping Taiwan

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Wu Pei-Yi at the time of his arrest in March 2014.

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On February 2, Wu Pei-Yi walked the red carpet in front of the Taiwan Legislative Yuan in Taipei and took a few photos to immortalize the moment. Dressed in a classic black jacket, she made her entrance for the first time as an elected official of the People's Democratic Party (PDP).

This that day I was really touched, because I entered the room and saw this corner where 10 years ago I broke the window and I climbed to protest, she says. Later that night, I lay down in the corner of the president's table and slept.

When I went to the bathroom on my first day as an elected official, I thought of the scene where I was washing my face at the sink, to which I didn't #x27;hadn't thought about it for many years, she said.

Wu Pei-Yi was part of the media committee during the Sunflower Revolution in 2014. It was his political baptism.


Wu Pei-Yi can be seen here, wearing a white jacket and jeans, sitting under the painting of Sun Yat-sen, who is considered the father of Modern China.

On March 18, 2014, students took over the Taiwan Legislative Assembly.

Photo album: Sunflower Revolution

The Sunflower Movement is considered a pivotal moment in defining a Taiwanese identity distinct from China. Today, 60% of residents consider themselves primarily Taiwanese.

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The student movement which had chosen the sunflower flower as its emblem – a symbol of hope – was assailed and occupied the Legislative Yuan in order to defend democracy.

The students accused the Kuomintang party government of selling Taiwan to China after the conclusion of a free trade treaty. Three-quarters of Taiwanese denounced the deal, which was ultimately canceled.

I wondered why the Taiwanese government did not prioritize local interests and instead signed an agreement with China that would impact workers for 100 years.

A quote from Wu Pei-Yi, member of the Legislative Yuan of Taiwan

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Wu Pei-Yi is today a member of the Legislative Yuan of Taiwan, elected from the People's Democratic Party.

Julia Chan was also in the front row 10 years ago. She had finished her studies a year earlier and was working at an NGO at the time.

I really think we have accomplished incredible things for change the course of history, she says. Not only did we stop Chinese activities to annex Taiwan, but we also inspired an entire generation to stand up for their country.

Since then, you don't see this kind of brutal move or brutal decision from the government, because they know there are consequences, says Julia Chan.

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Julia Chan is proud of her participation in the sunflower revolt.

Lin Hsiu-Hsin, assistant professor at Hakka College of National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University, believes that Taiwan must look beyond this movement and continue to develop its social justice.

This means that the basic needs of young people must be taken into account more, she says. In other words, we should offer them a fairer environment that would allow them to unleash their creativity. If you let them struggle in the free market, survival will become impossible, especially in the era of globalization. How can you give them the luxury of creating?

So I believe that it is because the DPP government, over the past eight years, has failed to fully understand the multiple meanings of the sunflower movement that Taiwan is experiencing a kind of populism today. , she explains.

Wu Pei-Yi and her colleague Huang Jie, two women from the sunflower revolution, hope to continue to promote its values, now as elected representatives of the PDP.

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Huang Jie is also a member of the Legislative Yuan of Taiwan, elected from the People's Democratic Party.

The issue that concerns me most is that of gender equality, emphasizes Huang Jie. Gender equality is not only about equality between men and women, it also includes diverse sexual orientations and gender identities, and the freedom to live openly in Taiwan.

In fact, I feel very touched and proud that Taiwan has reached this important milestone of passing the same-sex marriage law,” she continued. But in the future, we will need to achieve more goals and tasks related to gender transformation and respect for diversity.

Wu Pei -Yi is also still driven by the same ideals as 10 years ago.

There are many things in Taiwan that can still be improved, she believes. For me, it's about issues like gender equality and Taiwan-China relations. It's still the same sparks as 10 years ago, but now we need to call on more mature parliamentary skills. We also need to have a deeper understanding of all political, social, economic and environmental information.

In this real environment, we need to transform our desire to “fairness and justice within our capacity,” says Wu Pei-Yi. We must find a way forward in society that allows us to continue to progress.

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