Taiwan should suspend all religious exchanges with China before Beijing stops its oppression on Tibetan monks, the Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) said yesterday.
TSU legislative caucus whip Hsu Chung-hsin (許忠信) said China’s recent crackdown on Tibetan monks has been one of the most brutal cases of persecution in history, which has resulted in at least 20 monks dying from 30 cases of self-immolation since March last year.
The TSU would propose to observe a moment of silence before the next legislative session to pay tribute to those monks who perished, Hsu said.
President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) administration should recognize the gravity of the oppression and suspend all religious exchanges across the Taiwan Strait until Beijing stops its violent actions, Hsu said.
TSU Legislator Huang Wen-ling (黃文玲) said China is an atheist country and that it oppresses all religions, including Christianity and Catholicism.
The most recent crackdown in Tibet began in 2008, when China tightened its control over the region before the Beijing Summer Olympics by deploying its troops there and enforcing “patriotism education,” TSU Legislator Lin Shih-chia (林世嘉) said.
The Tibetan issue goes beyond religion as it is also related to human rights and ethnicity, Lin said.
“Engaging in religious exchanges with a country like China would amount to self-belittlement for Taiwan,” Lin said.
The Democratic Progressive Party expressed similar concerns on Feb. 21 over the situation in Tibet amid an intensifying crackdown by Chinese authorities and called on Ma to voice his concerns to Beijing.