Workers’ groups and the Taiwan Statebuilding Party (TSP) yesterday condemned remarks by former Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) praising China’s Xinjiang policy.
The Taiwan Labor Front, in a news release, called on the government to ban cotton and other agricultural products made by forced labor in Xinjiang, and urged the Ministry of Economic Affairs to check imports of Xinjiang cotton by Taiwanese textile and garment companies.
It condemned Hung’s remarks that the US and other countries had fabricated lies about Chinese repression of Uighurs in Xinjiang.
Photo: AFP / The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation
Hung made the remarks while on a Chinese government-sponsored visit to Xinjiang this week.
The Taiwan Statebuilding Party also issued a statement denouncing Hung’s whitewashing of Beijing’s actions, describing it as a renewed cooperation between the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the KMT to exterminate Uighur Muslims — similar to the atrocities the two parties had committed in the past.
“We would like to ask the KMT: Do you support China committing genocide against Uighurs?” the statement said.
As a former KMT chairperson, Hung still represents the voice of the party’s conservative faction, it said.
“Hung’s remarks endorsing Beijing’s conduct and programs in Xinjiang have been played up by Chinese state media to cover up Chinese atrocities and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang,” it said.
The statement also asked KMT Chairman Eric Chu (朱立倫) whether the KMT holds the same view as Hung.
“Does the KMT also think that the internment camps in Xinjiang are fabrications by Western countries?” it said.
“Foreigners who are not familiar with Taiwan’s history and the political situation between Taipei and Beijing might think that Hung’s stance is representative of Taiwan’s largest opposition party to support China’s policy in Xinjiang,” the statement said.
“So we are seeing the KMT walk in lockstep with China, and closely identifying with the values and political ideology of Chinese communists,” it said.
“Looking at the KMT’s history of human rights abuses and atrocities in Taiwan, we believe such a party is no longer qualified to participate in local politics — that it should no longer be a choice for Taiwanese voters,” Taiwan Statebuilding Party officials said.
Hung has visited several places in Xinjiang during her China trip, including visiting a “Xinjiang Antiterrorism and Deradicalization Struggle Exhibition” in Urumqi on Tuesday.
“Xinjiang is a harmonious, joyful, diverse and inclusive society,” Hung was quoted as saying by the Chinese state news outlet China Daily.
“The US and some Western countries have fabricated lies about the so-called ‘forced labor’ and ‘genocide’ in Xinjiang to undermine China’s internal unity,” she said.
“People in Xinjiang once suffered great harm from terrorism and extremist ideologies... The anti-terrorism and deradicalization measures that Xinjiang has adopted have helped those once poisoned by extremist ideologies to gain a correct understanding of law and religion, and improve the living standards of their families through learning skills,” Hung said, endorsing China’s policies of internment and “re-education” of Uighurs.
Governments and human rights groups have over the years condemned and called for investigations of the situation in Xinjiang. The issue came to the fore again on Tuesday with the release of the Xinjiang Police Files, a cache of documents and photographs showing Chinese leaders’ involvement in the repression of Uighur Muslims in internment camps in Xinjiang.
US Department of State spokesman Ned Price said at the time: “We are appalled by the reports and the jarring images of China’s internment camps... It further adds to an already damning body of evidence of the PRC’s [People’s Republic of China’s] atrocities in Xinjiang.”
The leaked materials are believed to have come from the public security bureau of two districts in Xinjiang, which were hacked and then shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and media organizations.
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