Xinjiang, HK can teach Taiwan
By Paul Lin 林保華

Last week, I was in Tokyo for an event

marking the fifth anniversary of the

Japan Uighur Association. While there,

I met with World Uyghur Congress

president Rebiya Kadeer, who was

visiting Japan, and talked with her

about visiting Taiwan.

Kadeer gave several talks while in

Japan. During an international press

conference in Tokyo, the topic that

members of the foreign press were most

concerned about was whether the handing

over of power to China’s new leaders,

Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平)

and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (李克

強), would provide any possibility for

reform, as well as the current

conditions of the Uighur people.

Kadeer said Uighur religion and culture

still suffered major restrictions and

that Uighurs continue to be killed and


It is for comments like these that the

Chinese Communist Party (CCP) have

labeled her a “Xinjiang separatist.”

Therefore, although she is willing to

enter into talks with the CCP to bring

about reconciliation and consolidation,

it still seems that this will be very

hard to achieve.

Some of my like-minded friends recently

established the Taiwan Friends of

Uighurs, which, apart from concerning

itself with the human rights situation

of Uighurs, hopes that the CCP will

carry out concrete reforms.

They also hope to remind the Taiwanese

that if their nation fails to retain

its sovereignty, it will end up in a

similar situation to Xinjiang and any

protest movement by the Taiwanese will

be viewed as “terrorism.”

Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng (陳光

誠) arrived in Taipei from New York

last Sunday. Chen has had a remarkable


It is intriguing how he managed to

escape from his home in Shandong, even

when it was under full guard by CCP

security officers, especially as the

CCP was spending as much as 60 million

yuan (US$9.77 million) a year on Chen

in the way of “stability maintenance

fees” and as much as 700 billion yuan

a year on security across China.

On Tuesday, Chen delivered a speech in

the legislature about how human rights

should be the basis of cross-strait

peace. Chen’s speech showed clearly

that he has a much better understanding

of what peace is than President Ma

Ying-jeou (馬英九).

Ma has surrendered to China in exchange

for peace, which will result in the CCP

’s violent rule of Taiwan.

It is fitting to remember the peace

treaty that Tibet signed with China

back in 1951, which China ignored just

a few years later.

The handover of Hong Kong’s

sovereignty from the UK to China in

1997 was part of another international

agreement between China and, this time,

the UK, which was submitted to the UN.

Now, China’s People’s Liberation Army

guns can be seen pointed at Hong Kong’

s affluent Central District,

threatening Hong Kongers. It is no

wonder that Chen said it is preferable

to have legislators pushing each other

around in the legislature than a repeat

of the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre.

Just as Chen was delivering one of his

speeches, opposition legislators were

engaged in a shoving match with KMT

legislators. Opposition party lawmakers

were trying to stop the Ma government

from making an arbitrary decision on

the cross-strait service trade

agreement and letting it automatically

come into effect without consulting the


These legislators demanded that the

agreement be reviewed and voted on

clause by clause.

The service trade agreement will leave

Taiwan wide open to China and have an

impact on millions of Taiwanese.

However, the Ma administration has used

back-room deals to sign the agreement

with China. It has also used “cold

violence” to strip the Taiwanese of

their most basic rights.

Given this, it is not at all wrong for

the public and legislators to use

extreme methods to protest this


Taiwanese cannot be like the Chinese,

who have become slaves under thousands

of years of traditional Confucian


We need to use the blood that pumps in

our veins to get rid of this slave

mentality, if we are serious about

protecting the universal value of human


If peaceful and rational protest does

not work, and when sovereignty and

human rights are in danger, because

those in power use sinister means and

violent suppression, all men and women

should unite in stronger protest.

Further, if a person is not angered by

unfair speech and events, and acts as

if they never happened, I would say

that that person does not have any

human feelings whatsoever.

Paul Lin is a political commentator.

Translated by Drew Cameron


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