Coloradans celebrate Taiwan

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams helps the Republic of China celebrate its 107th birthday, along with Director General Jerry Chang and Congressman Mike Coffman, who represents a number of Coloradans with ties to Taiwan. (SOS photo)

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams, Congressman Mike Coffman and others gathered Friday night in Denver to celebrate Double Ten Day commemorating the events that led to the creation of Taiwan, America’s close friend and ally.

“The United States has been, is and will always be Taiwan’s closest partner,” said Director General Jerry Chang, with the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Denver.

Ian Silverii, the director of ProgressNow, and Shirley Chang, with the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Denver, at the Double Ten celebration Friday night. (SOS photo)

When his assistant, Shirley Chang, who is no relation, introduced the secretary of state she got a laugh from the crowd. She called Williams “our good friend” and said he was “most popular.”

Williams mentioned his visit to Taiwan a year ago, and how impressed he was with the nation.

“Taiwan is an example of the type of leadership and freedom that we all seek throughout the world,” he said.

As he does every year, Congressman Coffman, whose mother was from China, electrified the crowd by speaking Chinese when he opened his remarks.  He noted the number of people born in Taiwan or with ties to the country who live in his congressional district east of Denver.

Secretary of State Wayne Williams with Jennifer and Jerry Chang celebrating Double 10 Day. Jerry Chang is the director general of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Denver. (SOS photo)

“Those living in Colorado bring a wealth of knowledge and entrepreneurial energy to our community,” he said.

The Double 10 celebration, as it is often called, dates to an uprising on Oct. 10, 1911 with revolutionaries upset over government corruption, the encroachment of foreign countries into China, and resentment of Manchu rule over Han Chinese, according to various web entries.

The revolution marked he collapse of the Qing Dynasty in China, ending thousands of years of imperial dynastic rule. Sun Yat-sen served briefly as the first president of the Republic of China when it was founded on Jan. 1, 1912.

“The United States and Taiwan enjoy a long-standing relationship that stems from our shared values: democracy, the rule of law, and a respect for the free-enterprise system,” Coffman said.

Aurora City Councilman Dave Gruber, and Greenwood Village Mayor Ron Rakowsky and his wife Margaret at the Double 10 celebration in honor of Taiwan. (SOS photo)

Director General Chang kicked off his remarks by celebrating another beloved event — Rocktober, with the Colorado Rockies in the hunt for a World Series title.

Two years ago, Chang was assigned to Denver after earlier posts in Singapore, Hungary, New York and Taiwan. The Denver district is comprised of six states, including Colorado and South Dakota. Many assignments are three years in length so Chang’s days in Colorado are numbered.

“My sincere condolences go to his successor because nobody, and I mean nobody, will do the job he has done,” said Greenwood Village Mayor Ron Rakowsky. “I think he has set the standard.”