Tue, Nov 23, 2010 - Page 2 News List

Kadeer cautions against China’s ‘sweet’ promises

PROPAGANDA:World Uyghur Congress head Rebiya Kadeer said that at the beginning, China had treated her people exactly the same way it is now treating Taiwan

By William Lowther  /  Staff Reporter in WASHINGTON

World Uyghur Congress president Rebiya Kadeer told a banquet in Washington over the weekend that Taiwanese should beware of Chinese promises in case “sweet dreams turn into a nightmare.”

“Taiwan now has very good economic relations with China, but do not be held hostage to China’s economy. All people should be able to decide their own political destiny,” she told the annual US Thanksgiving Banquet held by the Greater Washington Chapter of the Taiwanese Association of America on Saturday night.

“It is an extremely scary thing to live without democracy,” she said.

In a dramatic address that drew a standing ovation, she said she had been denied a visa to visit Taiwan by the administration of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), who she said had bowed to pressure from Beijing.

“But I will visit Taiwan [again] one day, regardless of one person and his administration,” she said.

Kadeer, who was imprisoned for six years in China as a result of her protests on behalf of Uighurs, said that “in the early days,” Chinese government policies were the same toward Uighur as they are now toward Taiwanese.

The Chinese insisted that they only wanted to help, to develop and to defend the Uighur, she said.

“It was just like the propaganda that China is spreading now in Taiwan — exactly the same thing,” Kadeer said. “Many people believed that good days were coming because of Chinese government policies. They tried to be friends and treated the Uighur nicely, like they were great people. We thought they were our true friends.”

However, once China was in control, the Uighur realized there was to be no freedom or liberty.

“They arrested hundreds of thousands of our people and executed many,” she said.

Kadeer said that Beijing changed its story and told the world that it was only helping “these backward, uneducated and barbarian Uighur.”

“We have never enjoyed a moment of peace under Chinese rule,” she said. “They took our scholars and teachers and historians, and wiped them out. They pushed our people into poverty and our lands, all were confiscated and turned over to the Chinese.”

“Those Uighur who protested for their rights were arrested and many executed,” she said.

Kadeer warned Taiwan that if China took it over, Beijing would confiscate property, stop people from speaking their own language and try to destroy the national culture.

“I pray to God that the people of Taiwan will not suffer what we have suffered under Chinese rule. I hope that you will not be deceived by China’s propaganda,” she said. “Taiwan now has very good economic relations with China, but do not be held hostage by China’s economy. All people should be able to decide their own political destiny. It is an extremely scary thing to live without democracy.”

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