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.
‘CORNERED ENEMY’: China’s rise is threatening peace and stability, and the US would aim to restrict it with help from allies in the Asia-Pacific, Soong Hseik-wen said A draft bill on protecting Taiwan from invasion is likely to be passed by the US Congress, but it remains to be seen how US President Joe Biden’s administration would implement the act if it is passed, Taiwanese academics said on Sunday. US Senator Rick Scott and US Representative Guy Reschenthaler on Thursday reintroduced the proposed Taiwan Invasion Prevention Act, which was shelved in September last year due to the impending US presidential election. Arthur Ding (丁樹範), a professor at National Chengchi University’s College of International Affairs, and Soong Hseik-wen (宋學文), a professor at National Chung Cheng University’s Graduate Institute
OVERHAUL NEEDED: The government should improve its agricultural processing capabilities and expand to new markets to limit its reliance on China, an expert said China’s ban on Taiwanese pineapples was “unsurprising,” and Taiwan should have years ago altered its produce export strategies and target customers, experts said. China on Friday abruptly suspended imports of pineapples from Taiwan, saying that it had on multiple occasions discovered “harmful biological entities” on the fruit. Calling it an “unfriendly” move, the Council of Agriculture (COA) said that 99.79 percent of the pineapples sent to China since last year have met China’s import standards. Chiao Chun (焦鈞), the author of Fruits and Politics — A Recollection of Cross-strait Agricultural Interaction Over the Past Decade (水果政治學：兩岸農業交流十年回顧與展望), said that China’s announcement is clearly targeting
‘NOT COLD ENOUGH’: Schools are disregarding Premier Su Tseng-chang’s instruction that students may wear out-of-uniform clothing to stay warm, an association said An investigative report revealed that 72.5 percent of the nation’s senior-high schools and 95.6 percent of junior-high schools punish students for wearing unapproved winter clothes in contravention of educational guidelines, lawmakers and student rights advocates said yesterday. Speaking at a news conference at the Legislative Yuan, the Taiwan Youth Association for Democracy said there is an endemic disregard for the Ministry of Education’s regulations and that private schools are more likely to contravene ministry rules. The report is a compilation of 2,856 student reports about dress code reinforcement at 425 high schools and vocational high schools, the association said. Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌)
DISSATISFACTION? If the referendums collect more than 700,000 signatures each, they would have gotten the most signatures in the shortest time, the party said The Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) two referendum petitions — one on banning the importation of pork with traces of ractopamine and the other on holding referendums on the same day as national elections — had as of Thursday gathered 691,398 and 674,497 signatures respectively, the party said yesterday. If the petitions collect more than 700,000 signatures apiece, they would have garnered the most signatures in the shortest time since the Referendum Act (公民投票法) was amended in 2017, party officials said. The KMT proposed the “anti-ractopamine pork” or “food safety” referendum just days after President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) announcement on Aug. 28 last