Saturday, September 15, 2007

ChthoniC: A Voice for Unlimited Taiwan

Not a lot of metal bands appear at both nightclubs and the National Press Club in Washington, but ChthoniC—a Taiwanese band called “the Black Sabbath of Asia”— will soon be doing just that here. On Sept. 13, Chthonic will hold a downtown news conference to discuss its "UNlimited Taiwan" campaign.

According to lead singer and songwriter Freddy Lim, the September events are particularly important, because they coincide with the opening of the annual session of the United Nations on September 18, which Taiwan will once again attempt to join. Taiwan’s efforts have been blocked every year since 1993 by China, which claims that Taiwan is a part of China.

Chthonic has recorded a single called "UNlimited Taiwan" and made a short film for the song, protesting their homeland's isolation in the international community.

It's all part of an effort to drum up sympathy and support among younger fans who may not know that Taiwan has been self-ruled since Nationalist forces moved there in 1949 after losing a long-running civil war with communist forces.

Taiwan’s Nationalist government had a UN seat as the Republic of China until 1971, when Beijing’s “People Republic of China” replaced it as the only representative of China in the UN.

"We didn't organize this tour for a political reason—first of all, it's a musical tour—but as citizens of Taiwan, we had to express our political message when our country needs our support,” Freddy said.

"We are just a heavy metal act and we have to fight for our own musical career, but at the same time we want to fight for our country as well."

For Taiwanese, seeking international political recognition while asserting Taiwan’s independence has been difficult. "In my opinion, and I think the opinion of all the citizens in Taiwan, they consider Taiwan is already an independent country," Freddy stressed.
"We have all rights like the citizens of America: We pay the tax to our own government, we vote for our own president, we have our own army. It is for us an independent country, no doubt. That would be the point we want to mention: Accept ‘unlimited Taiwan,’ like the song.”

(Excerpts from the Washington Post)

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