Fri, Apr 14, 2017 - Page 8 News List

The Liberty Times Editorial: China pushing Taiwanese away

China has incurred the anger of many Taiwanese over its increasingly obstructive behavior as it tries to stop the wife of detained human rights advocate Lee Ming-che (李明哲) from finding out his whereabouts and condition.

On Tuesday, the Mainland Affairs Council called an international news conference, criticizing China for refusing to respond to inquiries about Lee Ming-che for 24 days.

Indeed, China has refused to offer the slightest gesture of goodwill and even revoked the “Taiwan compatriot travel document” of Lee’s wife, Lee Ching-yu (李凈瑜), on Monday to prevent her from flying to Beijing to search for her husband.

If this were not enough, the Chinese media have also cast aspersions on Lee Ching-yu’s behavior, calling the whole thing “one big farce aimed at ignorant Taiwanese independence advocates to incite hatred” against China.

People on both sides of the Taiwan Strait who hold human rights in contempt point out that Lee Ming-che previously worked for the Democratic Progressive Party, and were unified in their criticism of his wife, saying she is no political novice and had once run for legislator.

This type of character assassination is an old trick, an attempt at destroying the reputation of the victim while ignoring what is essentially a case of political kidnapping.

It is apparently all right for Beijing to kidnap somebody, but not for the kidnapped person’s family to seek help to find them. This is a kidnapper’s logic.

To say that this is all a big farce aimed at arousing Taiwanese independence advocates is, frankly, overestimating Lee Ching-yu’s influence, while at the same time underestimating how pernicious they themselves are.

That might have been possible during the period when the government was very anti-communist, with Taiwanese enmity toward China the result of brain-washing under then-presidents Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) and Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國).

Cross-strait relations have since improved, but China has remained one of the least favorite countries in Taiwanese eyes because of its persistent attempts to intimidate Taiwan and its ever-tightening grip on its own people.

If nothing else, this enmity is linked to the fact that the minute President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) took office, Beijing launched a trade and diplomatic war against Taiwan, treated pan-blue city and county-level heads differently and put cooperation on fighting crime on hold — all because Tsai refused to accept any consensus on “one China.”

Beijing has brought all the measures it can to bear to punish the democratically elected leader of Taiwan. Things have come full circle from anti-communist slogans to actual contact, and Beijing has shown itself for the repugnant entity that it is.

Does Taiwan really need any help in finding reasons to feel enmity toward China? One need not look further than the terrible way China has treated Taiwan.

Hijackings such as these are two a penny in China: the charge of “endangering national security” is a trumped-up excuse. Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo (劉曉波) has been locked away for his political views, not to mention the many human rights lawyers and grassroots protesters who have fallen foul of the authorities in one way or the other.

One more recent development is the cross-border hijackings, such as the five men associated with Causeway Bay Books in Hong Kong. This escalation in barbarity tells us again that any Taiwanese entering China, or even just going through immigration, is putting themselves in potential danger, and if they are unfortunate enough they could the next victim.

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