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Human Rights in Taiwan and China Today (4): Speech by Hon. David Kilgour

Posted by Author on December 24, 2008

Paper prepared by Hon. David Kilgour, J.D. for An International Forum on the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Garden Villa Hotel, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan, 11 December, 2008 – (cont’d)

CHINA

On December 9, 1935, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) organized a student demonstration appealing to the then Nationalist government of China to fight against Japanese aggression and for “greater freedom of speech, association and demonstrations.” Demonstrators were met with over a thousand police; almost 400 of them were wounded and some were arrested. The event has since been touted by the Party as an act of honour in its leadership of the “Democratic Movement.” How ironic that the CCP is now the body that obstructs the democratic movement and often resorts to violent persecution of unarmed civilians who are seeking freedom of speech, association and demonstrations.

Permit me first to stress the respect and affection I hold for the people of China. It has been a cherished memory both as Secretary of State (Asia-Pacific) for Canada in 2002-2003 and as a private citizen to visit the country several times. It was also my honour to represent in Canada’s Parliament during almost 27 years many Edmontonians of origin in China. Friends taught me about the history, culture, inventions, economy, national resilience and many other strengths of their earlier homeland.

It is similar admiration and affection for the Chinese people that compels many Canadians and other friends of China around the world to continue to speak up for institutional respect for human dignity and justice for all across China. The CCP constantly accuses its critics as being ‘anti-China.’ In reality, it is the Party which is ‘anti-China’ because of how it continues to exploit the Chinese people on myriad ways. Chinese human rights advocates and their international supporters care deeply about improving the lives and  well-being of all the Chinese people.

Bian Que

The experience of Bian Que, the earliest known Chinese medical doctor, makes this point well. Bian Que lived in the feudal state of Cai, when he was invited to examine the feudal lord in the region. Finishing his examination, Bian Que told the other that he had a disease, which was only in his skin. The lord brushed this aside, since he then felt no symptoms, and told his staff that Bian Que was trying to profit from the fears of others. Bian Que is said to have visited the lord often afterwards, telling him each time how his ailment was becoming worse, spreading into his body, from his skin to his blood to his vital organs. The last time Bian Que went to see the lord, he looked into his bedroom and rushed out of the palace. When an attendant asked him why he had done so, he replied sorrowfully that the disease was in the marrow and had become incurable. The lord died soon afterwards.

By failing to stop gross and systematic human rights violations, or acting so often as the perpetrator of cruel abuses of the people, the Chinese party-state is acting like the lord of Cai. By allowing injustices of many kinds to spread, the un-elected governments in Beijing and the regions are working to the serious detriment of China.  (to be cont’d)

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– Original from http://david-kilgour.com/

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