Taiwan to bar visit by Uighur activist

Discussion in 'China' started by Koji, Sep 26, 2009.

  1. Koji

    Koji New Member

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    Taiwan to bar visit by Uighur activist - Yahoo! News

    TAIPEI, Taiwan – Taiwan's interior minister said Friday the island will bar a visit by Uighur activist Rebiya Kadeer, whom Beijing has accused of inciting ethnic violence in China's far west.
    The decision was made "in consideration of our national interests," Chiang Yi-hua said.
    A visit by Kadeer, who lives in the U.S., could harm the recently warming relations between Taiwan and China, which split amid civil war in 1949. President Ma Ying-jeou has dramatically improved ties with China since taking office 16 months ago with a promise to reverse his predecessor's anti-China, pro-independence policies.
    China has accused Kadeer of being behind ethnic violence in July in the western Xinjiang region that left nearly 200 people dead according to official count, a charge she has denied. Uighurs are a minority Muslim group native to western China whose relations with China's Han majority have become increasingly tense in recent years.
    Kadeer is a prominent businesswoman who has been active in promoting Uighur rights since the late 1990s. Chinese authorities imprisoned her for her activities, and she was exiled to the United States in 2005.
    Beijing had warned of unspecified "trouble" for bilateral relations if Taiwan's second largest city of Kaohsiung insisted on showing a documentary about Kadeer at a film festival next month.
    During a tour of the United States this week, Taiwanese rock musician Freddie Lim invited Kadeer to visit Taiwan. Kadeer accepted the invitation and said she would like to "introduce the true situation about my people to the Taiwanese people."
    Earlier this month, President Ma risked China's ire by allowing Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama to visit the island to console typhoon survivors.
    Beijing has branded both the Dalai Lama and Kadeer as separatists for allegedly seeking independence for Tibet and Xinjiang.
    Ma approved the Dalai Lama's visit to avoid giving ammunition to Taiwan's pro-independence opposition, which has accused him of hewing to Beijing's line.
    He eased China's anger by refusing to meet the Tibetan spiritual leader.
     
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  3. IBRIS

    IBRIS Senior Member Senior Member

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    Exiled Uighur activist plans to visit Taiwan in December


    The exiled Uighur political activist Rebiya Kadeer said Wednesday that she has accepted an invitation to visit Taiwan.
    Kadeer, president of the World Uighur Congress, said she thinks December will be a more convenient time for her to visit, rather than November as suggested by her hosts. Kadeer said she has been dreaming about stepping foot on Taiwan's soil and hopes the government of Taiwan will approve her planned visit, which she stressed is non-political.

    Kadeer, who is living in exile in the United States, made the remarks in response to a question by reporters after a meeting in Washington D.C. with Freddy, the lead vocalist of Taiwanese black metal band Chthonic and founder of the pro-independence organization Guts United, Taiwan.

    According to Freddy, the invitation for Kadeer to visit Taiwan was jointly issued by Guts United, Taiwan, the Dr. Chen Wen-cheng Memorial Foundation, the Taiwan Association for Human Rights and the Taiwan Youth Anti-Communist Corps.

    In a separate telephone interview with a CNA correspondent in Hong Kong, Kadeer said the main purpose of her visit will be to obtain a better understanding of Taiwan's human rights and democracy development and visit victims of Typhoon Morakot. She said she will officially file a visa application with Taiwan authorities next week.

    Meanwhile, Dilshat Reshit, a spokesman for the World Uyghur Congress, expressed his appreciation to the groups for extending the invitation to Kadeer and for Taiwan's attention to the human rights situation of the Uyghur people.

    The invitation followed the recent screening of a documentary about Kadeer's life - The 10 Conditions of Love - in the southern Taiwan city of Kaohsiung.
    Exiled Uighur activist plans to visit Taiwan in December - Taiwan News Online
     
  4. IBRIS

    IBRIS Senior Member Senior Member

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    Taiwan to Screen Uighur Activist Film Before Festival

    Sept. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Taiwan’s second-largest city will screen a movie about an exiled Uighur activist who’s been criticized by China, before its local film festival starts.

    “The 10 Conditions of Love,” a film about Rebiya Kadeer, who China has called “an ironclad separatist,” will be shown in four sessions on Sept. 22 and Sept. 23, instead of during the Kaohsiung Film Festival which begins Oct. 16, Liu Hsiu-ying, director of the Kaohsiung Film Library, the event’s organizer, said by phone yesterday.

    The compromise comes after tourism groups urged the local government in Kaohsiung not to show the film on concerns it may provoke China, the largest source of tourists to Taiwan. Kaohsiung, a city in southern Taiwan controlled by the opposition Democratic Progressive Party, drew criticism from China earlier this month for hosting the Dalai Lama.

    “Tourism in Kaohsiung is already hurting” from a deadly typhoon, swine flu and Chinese opposition to the Dalai Lama’s visit, and “we don’t need to aggravate the situation by screening the movie and further provoking China,” Lin Shang- Chih, president of the Kaohsiung Travel Agency Association, said earlier in a telephone interview.

    Typhoon Morakot, which left more than 600 dead in southern Taiwan last month, triggered criticism of President Ma Ying- jeou, who was accused of not doing enough to save lives. Ma consented to the Kaohsiung city and county’s proposal to allow the Dalai Lama to visit after the typhoon.

    ‘Political Turmoil’

    “The government information office noted the different views, including those from city councilors, the tourism industry, film and artist groups, and respects each of those standpoints,” the Kaohsiung city government said in a faxed statement last night. The government “faced political turmoil caused by mainland China’s Taiwan Affairs Office,” it said in the statement.

    Kaohsiung’s decision of “showing this fact-distorted and embellished ethnic separatist movie is sending a wrong signal to terrorist violent criminal activities, and we firmly oppose this,” an unnamed spokesman at the State Council’s Taiwan Affairs Office said, according to state-run Xinhua News Agency.

    “We urge the relevant parties of the Kaohsiung city not to cling to its own course, and not to pick up troubles on the cross-strait relations again,” Xinhua quoted the spokesman as saying.

    “10 Conditions” is an Australian-made film about Rebiya Kadeer, who China has accused of instigating clashes between Muslim Uighurs and Han Chinese in Xinjiang in July that left 192 people dead.

    Chinese officials tried to stop the Australian premiere of the film at the Melbourne International Film Festival in August.

    More than 80,000 mainland Chinese visited Taiwan last month, compared with 29,281 a year earlier, according to the Taiwan tourism bureau.

    Taiwan to Screen Uighur Activist Film Before Festival (Update1) - Bloomberg.com
     
  5. IBRIS

    IBRIS Senior Member Senior Member

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    Taiwan party defends film about Uighur activist


    Taiwan's pro-independence opposition on Friday defended the island's right to screen a documentary about an exiled Uighur activist accused by Beijing of inciting recent ethnic violence in China's west.

    The municipal government of Kaohsiung _ Taiwan's second largest city _ plans to screen "The 10 Conditions of Love" about U.S.-based World Uyghur Congress leader Rebiya Kadeer at a film festival next month.

    Beijing protested to the Australian government last month when Kadeer attended a festival in Melbourne that screened the film. Kadeer has strongly denied Chinese accusations that she was behind the ethnic violence in July in the western Xinjiang region that left nearly 200 people dead.

    The Democratic Progressive Party made the call after hotel owners in Kaohsiung claimed that Chinese tourists have deliberately avoided their city when touring Taiwan, apparently because of the city's plan.

    "Taiwanese have the right to pick the films they want to see," the DPP said in a statement. "If (China) should use trade and economic cooperation with us as a political chip, it would not be conducive to cross-Strait exchanges."

    Kaohsiung is a DPP stronghold that supports Taiwanese independence from China. The two sides split amid civil war in 1949.

    Since taking office last year, President Ma Ying-jeou of the China-friendly Nationalist Party has sought to improve relations with the mainland and end decades of enmity.

    China has so far responded favorably to Ma's initiatives. With Beijing's consent, at least 30,000 Chinese tourists are visiting the island per month, generating huge revenues to help bolster the island's flagging economy.

    Kaohsiung also drew China's ire when its mayor led several municipal and county governments in the south in inviting the Dalai Lama to visit survivors of Typhoon Morakot early this month. Beijing considers the Tibetan spiritual leader to be a separatist seeking independence from communist China. The Dalai Lama, who lives in exile in northern India, insists he merely wants more autonomy for Tibet.

    On Wednesday, China's Taiwan Affairs Office warned the island against making another provocative move, but did not mention the documentary about Kadeer. A spokesman said it did not wish to "see anything that might disrupt the peaceful development in cross-Strait relations."

    Taiwan party defends film about Uighur activist
     

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