Wed, Jul 02, 2003 - Page 8 News List

Editorial: A separate roof for a separate state

On Friday, a four-member delegation invited to attend the UN-affiliated Global Summit of Women was denied entry at Marrakech airport in Morocco, even though they held valid visas issued by the Moroccan consulate in Hong Kong. After an investigation by Taiwan's diplomatic corps, it turned out that the Chinese embassy in Morocco was behind the incident. While we deplore the Moroccan government's buckling under Chinese pressure, we are also puzzled by Beijing's hysterical diplomatic attacks. Such behavior can only raise Taiwan's profile in the international community, attracting more attention to Taiwan's plight as well as to the vast differences between Taiwan and China.

After they were forced to return to Amsterdam, a member of the delegation, Rosa Yang (楊雪紅), went back to Morocco and successfully cleared customs using her US passport. She made it to the global summit, where she revealed China's obnoxious behavior to delegates from around the world. Yang found out that China was not even represented at the summit. Yet the Chinese embassy still blocked Taiwan's delegation from attending the event. The reservations Taiwan's delegation had made at a hotel in Morocco were also canceled by an impersonator.

Beijing's obstructionism has repeatedly created diplomatic trouble for the host country at international conferences. This has highlighted the differences between China and Taiwan, while at the same time has generated friction between China and other countries. Taiwan's representatives at international events should not give up opportunities such as this to present their position, despite harassment from China.

What's even more ludicrous, according to Center for Disease Control Director Su Ih-jen (蘇益仁), who attended the WHO's global SARS conference in Kuala Lumpur last month, was that Beijing pressured WHO officials to keep Taiwan on the health body's SARS travel advisory list until Beijing had been removed. Beijing did not hesitate to conceal and distort facts just to pretend that it's stronger, faster and better than Taiwan. It's ludicrous and infantile. Fortunately, the WHO officials did not buckle under Beijing's pressure to twist scientific facts.

In a way, Beijing's habit of making enemies wherever it goes is a blessing for Taiwan. As long as the Chinese authorities cling to the idea that they are a "dynasty anointed by the heavens" and therefore must be obeyed by everyone under the sun, they will only generate repulsion in the international community, while also helping Taiwan to win over more friends and international support. This will only increase the guarantees for Taiwan's security. Sooner or later, the myths fabricated by Beijing will be viewed as a joke in the international community.

China once promised that Hong Kong would remain unchanged for 50 years. Now, six years after Hong Kong's handover to Chinese rule, Beijing is pushing for an anti-subversion law in Hong Kong that will take away people's freedoms. Beijing's purpose is simply to build an authoritarian system in Hong Kong that tramples on human rights -- a system just like the one in China. No wonder tens of thousands of Hong Kong people protested against the law yesterday. Beijing has not only lost credibility in the eyes of Hong Kong's citizens by destroying the spirit of "one country, two systems," but has also thuggishly and unreasonably suppressed Taiwan in the international community. Looking at this mad, arrogant, authoritarian regime, how could any Taiwanese -- unless they are also mad -- want to live under the same roof as China?

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