Taiwan’s new president Lai calls on China to ‘stop threatening’ the island

The celebrations continue before Lai gives what will be his first presidential address.

One of the highlights so far has been a large, blue, rather trippy horse – which entered the venue almost like a Trojan horse and blew smoke from its nostrils.

It has no particular cultural significance. It’s called the rain horse or “yuma” – it’s from a popular theatre group that mosty does shows for children, hence the furry animals, the birds and all the dancing.

All of this colour and performance is a very deliberate celebration of Taiwan’s diverse culture. There was a group, for instance, that was rapping in four languages – Mandarin, Hakka, Taiwanese Hokkien and English.

Everything about this is saying: look at us, we are free, we are multi-cultural. This is Taiwan. Of course,. the sub text is “we are not China”.

That is the message they are sending over and over again, even it, at times, it feels slightly heavy-handed.

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