The Taiwan Friends of Uighurs (TFU) has joined the cause voiced by the World Uyghur Congress (WUC) in calling for an end to the Chinese government maltreatment of Uighurs by staging a sit-in demonstration at Taipei Main Station.
The group, founded in June last year, said it received a call from WUC president Rebiya Kadeer on Friday afternoon informing it of the worldwide demonstration that has been scheduled to take place in Taiwan, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Sweden, US and Canada between Friday and tomorrow.
According to a statement on the congress’ official Web site, the demonstration “seeks to draw attention to the Chinese government’s systematic human rights violations, especially extrajudicial killings, against Uighurs in East Turkestan,” also known as the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region.
Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times
“We are hoping that the event will raise awareness of the suffering of the Uighur people under China’s rule among the Taiwanese public,” TFU executive director Marie Yang (楊月清) said yesterday.
“The Chinese government has continued to suppress minorities in China. Tibetans have received more public attention due to their world-renowned spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, but Uighurs’ plight is less well known,” she said.
The relative inattention might have to do with the branding of the WUC by the Chinese government as a terrorist-related separatist organization and its leader “an ironclad separatist colluding with terrorists and Islamic extremists,” according to the Chinese Communist Party’s People’s Daily, along with the Taiwanese government’s ban on Kadeer’s entry into the nation in 2009 citing “security concerns.”
Yang called the accusation baseless.
“The WUC’s office is just a block away from the US Congress and the organization has also received funding from the US government,” Yang said.
TFU chairman Paul Lin (林保華) said there were at least 10 known incidents of bloodshed in the restive western autonomous region last year, adding that they were “bloodshed” rather than “terrorist attacks” as described by some Taiwanese, Hong Kong and overseas Chinese media repeating the Chinese government’s stance.
“However, the Chinese government has failed to ferret out a single gun from the resisting Uighur people in these ‘terrorist attacks.’ All they found were machetes, other kinds of knives and the so-called improvised explosive devices that were simply bottles filled with oil,” he said.
Lin mentioned an incident in 2012 that was claimed by the Chinese government to be a “hijack attempt,” which was in fact simply “a fight between six Uighurs and some Han Chinese on the plane.”
Two Uighur passengers died as the result of the fight, and the other four were arrested, of which three have since been executed, Lin said.
“The Chinese report later claimed the Uighurs involved had carried explosives onto the plane, but withdrew the accusation after receiving protests from the ground crew, who would be held accountable for negligence if the allegation was true.”
The Han people involved were praised as heroes and lavishly rewarded, which Lin described as “hush money.”
Lin called on Taiwanese to be aware of the human rights violations in China, especially at a time when Western democracies are bowing to Beijing’s economic power.
DIPLOMATIC MOVES: Beijing is reportedly pressing the state after reports of forming links with Taiwan, while the ministry is also planning to reopen its office in Guam soon A representative office is set to open in Somaliland at the end of this month, at the earliest, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday amid reports that Beijing is sending a diplomatic delegation to the east African country. The ministry on July 1 announced that Taiwan and Somaliland would establish representative offices, following a report by the Somaliland Chronicle Web site. It said at the time that the two nations did not plan to establish formal ties. Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi has instructed close confidants to explore the possibility of “mutual recognition between Taiwan and Somaliland,” the Somaliland Chronicle reported
‘IMMORAL, INSINCERE’: Huang Kun-huei said that Ma was ‘distorting history’ in claiming that Lee Teng-hui laid the foundation for the so-called ‘1992 consensus’ Former Presidential Office secretary-general Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) on Saturday rejected former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) claim that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had been a proponent of Beijing’s “one China” principle. Lee, who served as president from 1988 to 2000, died in Taipei on Thursday last week. After visiting the Taipei Guest House on Saturday to pay his respects to Lee, Ma posted on Facebook that “28 years ago on this day” Lee hosted a session of the now-defunct National Unification Council, during which he passed a resolution on the “one China” principle. That resolution became the basis of the Chinese Nationalist Party’s
A Belgian man who tested positive for COVID-19 in Taiwan last week is likely to have contracted the disease in Taipei in late June, National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Public Health vice dean Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Saturday reported that the man, who is in his 20s, came to Taiwan for work on May 3 and tested positive on Wednesday last week as he was about to depart. The man in March reported loss of taste and smell, the center said, adding that he worked in Changhua County, but visited Taipei several times,
NEW ERA: Taiwan, which has controlled its virus outbreak, now faces the challenge of safely resuming economic exchanges with other nations, Chang Shan-chwen said People should not focus entirely on having zero new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Taiwan, but neglect overall control over the disease situation, Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) specialist advisory panel convener Chang Shan-chwen (張上淳) said yesterday. Chang made the remark at a forum in Taipei discussing the steps Taiwan should take in the post-pandemic era, organized by the Chinese-language magazine Global Views Monthly. Chang, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director-General Chou Jih-haw (周志浩), and Stanford University’s Center for Policy, Outcomes and Prevention director C. Jason Wang (王智弘) each made a presentation, followed by a panel discussion with Chang, Wang and Buddhist Tzu