DPP lawmakers and human rights activists yesterday urged prosecution of Chinese officials who have been charged for crimes against humanity in other countries if they visit Taiwan.
Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tien Chiu-chin (田秋堇) and the activists made the call at a press conference as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) — both ratified by the Legislative Yuan in March — were written into law yesterday.
“It’s easy to sign the covenants, but what’s more important is to implement the contents,” Tien said, adding that one way for Taiwan to join the international hunt for violators of human rights was to bring Chinese officials who have been charged with crimes against humanity in other countries to justice if they visit Taiwan.
“The Chinese Communist Party’s [CCP] Chongqing committee chief Bo Xilai [薄熙來], for example, may visit Taiwan next year on the invitation of Taiwan External Trade Development Council chairman Wang Chih-kang [王志剛],” Tien said. “He has been accused of torturing thousands of Falun Gong practitioners and engaging in live organ harvesting when he served as China’s Liaoning Province chief [from 2000 to 2003].”
Tien said lawsuits had been filed against Bo in a dozen countries, including the US, the UK, Poland, Russia, Chile, Peru, Spain, South Korea, Australia, Finland and Canada.
While visiting the US on an official trip in 2004, Bo received a notice at his hotel to appear in court. In the same year, Bo and 44 Chinese officials suspected of engaging in repression of Falun Gong practitioners were put on a watchlist in Canada. In November 2007, an Australian court convicted Bo of torturing Falun Gong practitioners, Tien said.
US-based human rights lawyer Theresa Chu (朱婉琪) told the press conference that apart from codifying the two covenants, Taiwan should pass laws against hate crime, torture and other human rights violations, as many other countries that have ratified the ICCPR and the ICESCR have done.
Deng Liberty Foundation chairman Kenneth Chiu (邱晃泉) agreed.
“President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) declared that Taiwan should become an exporter of human rights and fulfill its duty of protecting human rights worldwide,” Chiu said. “We cannot just pretend that we don’t see it when Chinese officials accused of human rights violations come to this country and treat them like VIPs.”
Meanwhile, at a separate setting yesterday, Taiwan Friends of Tibet chairwoman Chow Mei-li (周美里) called on the government to promote human rights in Tibet during cross-strait negotiations, “such as the talks between [China’s] Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait chairman Chen Yunlin (陳雲林) and [Taiwan’s] Strait Exchange Foundation chairman Chiang Pin-kung (江丙坤), which will take place later this month in Taichung.”
Regional Tibetan Youth Congress-Taiwan chairman Tashi Tsering said he was disappointed in Ma.
“[During the presidential campaign] last year, Ma voiced strong support for human rights issues in Tibet, but what has he done since he was elected?” Tashi asked. “With more and more cross-strait exchanges, the government should not forget about the suffering of both the Tibetans and the Chinese under the CCP’s rule.”
Days after it was banned in China, a Mandarin ballad satirizing nationalistic Chinese Internet users is trending at No. 1 on YouTube in Taiwan and Hong Kong. Fragile (玻璃心), by Taiwan-based Malaysian rapper Namewee (黃明志) and Australian singer Kimberley Chen (陳芳語), offers a tongue-in-cheek apology to “little pink” Internet users, a disparaging term that describes patriotic “keyboard warriors” from China. After racking up more than 9 million views on YouTube, the song reached No. 3 on the site in Malaysia on Thursday, according to Kworb, a Web site that analyzes music data from around the world. It is also the only Chinese-language
NO CHANGE: US officials indicated that the ‘one China’ policy remains in place, while the NATO chief avoided discussing Biden’s comment in an effort to ease tensions US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said on Friday that the Pentagon would continue to support Taiwan’s military, but he declined to say if US troops would defend the island against China, after US President Joe Biden said there was a US “commitment” to do so. “As we’ve done over multiple administrations, we will continue to help Taiwan with the sorts of capabilities that it needs to defend itself,” Austin said at NATO headquarters. “So we’ll stay focused on those things, and I won’t engage in any hypotheticals with respect to Taiwan,” he told reporters. Biden on Thursday sparked a new firestorm
PROTECTION: The Ministry of Health and Welfare is aiming for a full vaccination rate of 30 percent, and allowing mixed first and second doses to boost coverage rates Whether Taiwan reopens its borders would depend on the nation’s vaccination coverage rate and the COVID-19 situation in other countries, Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Shih Chung-liang (石崇良) said yesterday. The Ministry of Health and Welfare is aiming for a 70 percent first-dose vaccination coverage and 30 percent two-dose coverage as part of its consideration, Shih told a media briefing following the weekly Cabinet meeting. In spite of a relatively stable COVID-19 situation in Taiwan, and calls from foreign missions and businesses in the country to allow more international travelers, the government is maintaining strict border control measures. Since March last year,
The nationwide level 2 COVID-19 alert, which is set to expire on Monday next week, is to be extended, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday. Chen, who heads the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), told reporters before heading to a meeting at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei that the COVID-19 alert level “will not be lowered on November 2,” but he did not say how long the extension would be. Taiwan has been under level 2 alert, the third-highest on the nation’s four-tier scale, since July 27. The CECC yesterday reported eight new COVID-19 infections — six imported