One of China’s most wanted fugitives says he hasn’t given up trying to return to China and won’t relent in his efforts to pressure Beijing to democratize.
Wuer Kaixi, a prominent student leader during the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, told the Taiwan Foreign Correspondents Club yesterday that despite two failed attempts, he would continue to try to re-enter China to visit his parents in Urumqi, Xinjiang, whom he hasn’t seen for 21 years.
Since Wuer Kaixi became a wanted “criminal” after the Tiananmen crackdown, his parents have been barred from leaving the country.
The dissident, who lives in exile in Taiwan, was turned back after attempting to enter Macau last year and was barred from boarding a flight from Tokyo to Beijing last month.
He was arrested by Japanese police and detained for two days after attempting to jump over a security gate to get into the Chinese embassy in Tokyo.
“I am now able to say I am a political dissident with jail experience — two days,” the 42-year-old said.
Wuer Kaixi said his attempts to return to China were in order to continue the dialogue with Chinese authorities that he and other dissident students started in the 1980s.
While he expects to be arrested if he returns, he said this was “not an admission of wrongdoing 21 years ago.”
“I will keep trying. There will be elevated actions,” he said, without providing details.
“How can I give up hope of seeing my parents, even if this has to be a prison visit,” he said, accusing Chinese authorities of meting out punishment not only to dissidents, but also their families.
“My parents’ health has suffered,” he said of the consequences of his exile.
Asked about Taipei’s blacklisting of World Uyghur Congress president Rebiya Kadeer, Wuer Kaixi said it was a “stupid mistake,” adding that the decision was made not on grounds of national security, but rather in the “national interest,” which meant not angering Beijing.
On whether the same could happen to him one day, he said it was unlikely, as he is now a naturalized Taiwanese citizen and President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) “has integrity” and abides by the law.
“Opportunists” in Ma’s party, however, could exploit some of the president’s foibles to “drag him down,” he said.
“Ma’s a pleaser — he likes to please everybody,” Wuer Kaixi said.
“If you know how to push [Ma’s] right button,” his China policies could turn bad for Taiwan, he said.
TOO TIRED: Investigators found that the pilot’s lack of alertness could be attributed to a lack of sleep the previous night, when he had slept with his child It was a copilot’s inappropriate operation of the aircraft and the pilot’s insufficient alertness that led to a hard landing of a China Airlines cargo flight on Dec. 13, 2018, the Taiwan Transportation Safety Board said yesterday. Flight CI6844, a Boeing 747-409 which departed from Hong Kong International Airport, landed on the pre-threshold area of runway L5 at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, about 21m before the head of the runway, an investigation report said. The hard landing damaged three runway lights, but none of the personnel on board sustained any injuries, the report said. When approaching the runway, the copilot failed to maintain
DISTRUST WARRANTED? The WHO is under China’s control and has become a useless organization, while data from China cannot be trusted, a Control Yuan member said China’s demand that the novel coronavirus that emerged in Wuhan, Hubei Province, not be referred to with names like the “Wuhan pneumonia” betrays its lack of confidence in itself, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told lawmakers yesterday. Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tsai Yi-yu (蔡易餘) asked Su, during a interpellation at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei, for his view on China’s attempts to redeem its national image in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. These included China’s efforts to “bleach” its image, including having WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus publicly praise its handling of the COVID-19 outbreak, and thanking it for buying time
Taipei residents who stay at hotels in the city during their 14-day mandatory quarantine period are eligible to apply for the city’s NT$7,000 subsidy, with online applications to be launched next week. Taipei Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊) on Monday said Taipei residents who have COVID-19 Health Declaration and Home Quarantine Notice dated after March 19 and a quarantine hotel receipt for the dates covered by the quarantine period, would be eligible for the subsidy. The Taipei City Government on Sunday told the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) that so many city residents are under home quarantine that about 90 percent of
REPEAT OFFENDER: The man went outside for exercise on Wednesday and then left his home on Saturday with his girlfriend, officials said A New Taipei City man has been fined NT$400,000 (US$13,221) and ordered into government quarantine after breaking home quarantine for a second time on Saturday. The 25-year-old man, surnamed Chen (陳) returned to Taiwan on Sunday last week and was ordered to home quarantine until Sunday. He was seen leaving his home on a scooter with his girlfriend on Saturday, three days after he was fined NT$200,000 for going outside to exercise, police said. Chen has now been placed in a quarantine center arranged by the district office and health center of the district where he lives, police said. Police warned the public