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Archive for the ‘Taiwan’ Category

Former Lawmaker: “Shen Yun’s magnificent performance” Would Be a Blessing for Hong Kong

Posted by Author on March 25, 2009


By Billy Shyu, Epoch Times Staff, Mar 22, 2009-

HSINCHU, Taiwan
— The New York-based Shen Yun (Divine) Performing Arts International Company successfully concluded its last show in Hsinchu on the evening of March 22. Mr. Tai Cheuk-Yin, former Member of Hong Kong Legislative Council, flew all the way from Hong Kong to Taiwan to see Shen Yun and said that he was lucky to see the show in Hsinchu.

“Shen Yun’s magnificent performance reminded us of China’s prosperity in the Tang Dynasty and the tribulations people nowadays are suffering in China. What’s more important is that it inspired us to think about our future, and how to pass down the 5,000-year-old Chinese culture.

“In fact, each piece of the program is unique, from the opening act depicting the divinely bestowed culture [The Five Millennia Begin], to the Tibetan folk dance [Dance of the Snow-Capped Mountain] performed later. Every act was embedded with different meanings and implications. Every program was really wonderful, and every dancer’s performance was at an international standard.”

Mr. Tai also mentioned that Shen Yun had broadened his horizons. He added, “I really admire them, and I really benefitted by coming here.”

As an overseas Chinese who values Chinese history very much, Mr. Tai praised Shen Yun highly, saying, “It is indeed very remarkable to interpret the 5,000-year-old traditional culture so well in such a short period of time.

“People in China nowadays and those who have moved overseas should see the show presented by Shen Yun, so they are able to carefully ponder their future. I felt it [the Shen Yun show] conveyed many important messages, which deserve to be considered, so that people can better plan their future.

“If Hong Kong people have the opportunity to see this wonderful show, it would a blessing for them. They would be able to gain enlightenment from it, and their inner world would be more peaceful. I felt that they [Hong Kong people] have many choices,” he continued. In addition, he said that as a resident of Hong Kong, he looked forward to the time when Shen Yun would perform there.

As to his flying thousands of miles from Hong Kong to see this magnificent show, Mr. Tai said, “I have benefited tremendously from it. The entire show conveys strong messages. If more people were able to enjoy this wonderful performance, I think it would be great. As a matter of fact, this is something that needs our concerted efforts. Let’s look forward to it together.”

The Epoch Times is a proud sponsor of the Shen Yun Performing Arts 2009 World Tour. For more information please visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org

Posted in Asia, China, Chinese Culture, Culture, Dance, Entertainment, Event, Hong kong, intellectual, Life, News, People, Taiwan, World | Comments Off on Former Lawmaker: “Shen Yun’s magnificent performance” Would Be a Blessing for Hong Kong

Divine Performing Arts Greeted By Hundreds of Fans in Taiwan

Posted by Author on February 22, 2009


By Daina Lih & Censih Wu, Epoch Times Staff, Feb 20, 2009 –

TAIPEI, TaiwanDivine Performing Arts (DPA) International Company arrived in Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport on Feb. 19 to present DPA 2009 World Tour to audiences in Taiwan for the next month.

Upon the performers’ arrival, more than a hundred fans greeted them at the airport.

“Taiwan gives me a familiar feeling. The audiences are very enthusiastic. I know there are many Taiwanese studying Chinese classical dance. So I truly hope to bring the most beautiful, most authentic Chinese classical dance to them,” said Jennifer Su, principal dancer of DPA International Company.

Although hit by the global financial crisis, throughout Taiwan DPA tickets were sold out—more than 90,000 tickets were sold, double the number of last year.

“What we’ve done is unprecedented. DPA’s influence around the world is accelerating at a wonderful rate. Especially during such an economic time, people need to learn the truth,” said Guimin Guan, tenor and vice company director of DPA International Company.

Some people in Hong Kong and the mainland have bought tickets to the show in Taiwan. They are ready to fly to Taiwan to see DPA performances despite the fact that the Chinese communist regime has tried to stop people from going.

“Traditionally Chinese people believe in the existence of divine beings, which contrasts with the Chinese Communist Party’s atheism. Our mission is to revive traditions, China’s authentic culture. We want the entire world to know what’s genuine Chinese culture. I hope all those who watch the show can learn the truth,” said Mr. Guan.

DPA International Company will stay in Taiwan for the next month, showing in six cities, including Tainan, Taipei, Chia-Yi, Hsinchu, Kaohsiung, and Taichung.

The Epochtimes

Posted in Asia, China, Chinese Culture, Culture, Entertainment, Event, Life, News, shows, Taiwan, World | Comments Off on Divine Performing Arts Greeted By Hundreds of Fans in Taiwan

Taiwan govt official, MP’s aide arrested for spying for China

Posted by Author on January 17, 2009


AFP, Jan 15, 2009-

TAIPEI (AFP)
— A Taiwanese government official and a legislator’s aide were arrested Thursday for allegedly leaking state secrets to China, officials and reports said.

Wang Ren-bing, a specialist in the presidential office, and Chen Ping-ren, aide to a ruling Kuomintang lawmaker, were taken into custody early Thursday on suspicion of violating national security laws, said a spokesman at Taipei district court.

The spokesman declined to comment on reports that Chen allegedly passed information on the May 20, 2008 inauguration of President Ma Ying-jeou he obtained from Wang to Chinese intelligence.

The United Daily News, citing unnamed sources, reported Thursday that Wang photocopied documents pertaining to the handover of power to Ma from his predecessor Chen Shui-bian as well as the presidential office organisational charts and division phone numbers.

The arrests came after prosecutors searched Wang’s office and residence on Wednesday and confiscated a box of documents, prosecutors said.

The paper said Wang joined the presidential staff in 2001 while Chen was in office under the recommendation of his then right-hand man Chen Che-nan.

Chen Shui-bian, who frequently irked China with his pro-independence rhetoric, left office in May after serving the maximum two four-year terms.

Tensions have eased since the Beijing-friendly Ma swept to power last year on a platform to boost trade and tourism links with China.

AFP

Posted in Asia, China, Law, News, Official, People, Politics, Social, spy, Taiwan, World | 1 Comment »

Taiwan legislator warns of China spyware in military hardware

Posted by Author on January 13, 2009


Taiwan News, Staff Writer, 2009-01-13 –

The military could be leaking secrets if using computers made in China, an opposition lawmaker said yesterday.

The Ministry of National Defense recently bought notebook computers from China which could compromise state secrets if they had been infected by viruses and spy software programs, said Lawrence Kao, a legislator for the Democratic Progressive Party.

The army headquarters had recently awarded bids for 51 computers to a supplier who did not buy the notebooks from Taiwanese manufacturers, but from suppliers in China, Kao said. At a news conference at the Legislative Yuan yesterday, he also accused the supplier of contracting out repair work to China.

Chinese intelligence services could plant software programs inside the computers which could then be used to collect military secrets from their Taiwanese users, Kao said.

The DPP lawmaker accused the military of being too lax about supervising its key suppliers and the sources of its equipment. It was high time for the ministry to review its procurement procedures and the origin of the products it was using, Kao said.

There has been concern for some time that in the event of a cross-straits conflict, China would not try for the long-feared tactic of a costly all-out invasion of the island, but would instead wage electronic warfare to try and paralyze the Taiwanese military’s communications and information systems.

eTaiwan News

Posted in Asia, Business, China, Company, Computer, Economy, Law, military, News, Politics, products, Software, Spyware, Taiwan, Technology, World | Comments Off on Taiwan legislator warns of China spyware in military hardware

Human Rights in Taiwan and China Today (3): Speech by Hon. David Kilgour

Posted by Author on December 23, 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)

5.The letter states that it is untrue that Taiwan’s judicial system is susceptible to political manipulation.  If this is the case, how can it be explained that in the past weeks, only DPP officials have been detained and given inhumane treatment such as handcuffing and lengthy questioning, while obvious cases of corruption by members of the KMT – including in the Legislative Yuan — are left untouched by the prosecutors or at best stalled in the judicial process?

We may also refer to expressions of concern by Prof. Jerome Cohen and by lawyer Nigel Li, who expressed his deep concerns about the preventive detentions in an editorial in the China Times on November 9th 2008.  In his editorial, Mr. Li praised the remarks made by prosecutor Chen Rui-ren, who was part of the legal team prosecuting the special fund cases, that the prosecutors’ offices should “avoid the appearance of targeting only one particular political group.”

The fact that the Special Investigation Task Force was set up under the DPP Administration or that the prosecutor general was nominated by President Chen is not at issue here.  The problem is that the present system is being used in a very partial fashion.

We may add that the fact that you yourself have publicly discussed the content of the cases does create a serious imbalance in the playing field, and undermines the basic dictum that a person should be considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.  Under the present circumstances it is hard to see how the persons involved – including former President Chen Shui-bian – can have a fair trial in Taiwan.

6.Lastly, the statement by the US State Department is interpreted in the letter as an “endorsement” of Taiwan’s legal system and the procedures followed.  It should be noted that in international   diplomatic language, the term “we have every expectation” means “we are concerned and we will watch the situation closely.” “For the past two decades, Taiwan has faced a difficult situation internationally. What has given Taiwan important credibility in democratic countries around the world has been its democratization. We fear that the current judicial procedures being used in Taiwan endanger this democratization, and endanger the goodwill that Taiwan has developed internationally.”

“In conclusion: we do remain deeply disturbed by the erosion of justice in Taiwan, and express the sincere hope and expectation that your government will maintain fair and impartial judicial practices and quickly correct the present injustices.  As an editorial in the November 20th issue of the London-based Economist indicated, Taiwan is “hungry for justice”, and we also hope that your government will be willing to initiate judicial reform which would move Taiwan towards a fully fair and impartial judicial system which earns the respect and admiration from other democratic countries around the world. “

Respectfully yours, ” 22 Signatories of the November 4th Joint Statement

As a friend of Taiwan and someone who was both a prosecutor and defense counsel in Canada before  entering politics, I am also deeply concerned by the contents of the letter just quoted. I hope Justice Minister Wang will have substantive answers to the points raised by these 22 other friends of Taiwan. Hopefully she will also address the related serious points made in the joint statement issued on Nov. 21 by the Taiwan Bar Association, the Taipei Bar Association, and the Judicial Reform Foundation. He appears not yet to have provided substantive responses in the following:

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/editorials/archives/2008/11/26/2003429618

http://etaiwannews.com/etn/print.php

http://www.taiwannews.com.tw/etn/news_content.php?id=798899

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

Posted in Asia, China, Human Rights, Law, News, Opinion, People, politician, Politics, Social, Taiwan, World | Comments Off on Human Rights in Taiwan and China Today (3): Speech by Hon. David Kilgour

Taiwan Company to cut more than 30,000 jobs in China

Posted by Author on December 21, 2008


The Taipei Times, Taiwan, Saturday, Dec 20, 2008 –

Hon Hai Group (鴻海集團)
chairman Terry Gou (郭台銘) said yesterday the economic downturn was three times worse than expected, and the company would reduce its worldwide workforce in response to deteriorating conditions.

Gou’s remark came amid mounting speculation that the world’s largest contract maker of electronics, along with its wireless networking equipment affiliate Cybertan Technology Inc (建漢科技), will both trim between 10 percent and 15 percent of their workforces, the Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister paper) reported yesterday.

The report said Hon Hai’s Hong Kong-traded unit Foxconn International Holdings Ltd’s (富士康國際) planned to axe 1,500 staff at its Hungarian plant, and reduce its workforce at its Chinese operations by 5 percent, or between 30,000 and 40,000 people.

“Hon Hai’s job cuts plan is global due to the harsh economic conditions,” Gou told reporters yesterday at a charity event.

He did not specify the number of cuts.

A local Hon Hai engineer axed by the company, however, told the Taipei Times that around 70 Taiwanese employees lost their jobs yesterday, accounting for about 10 percent of the company’s 600-person workforce in Taiwan.

The engineer, who wished to remain anonymous, said the company gave no previous hint that it would slash local manpower, adding that yesterday’s cut could be just the beginning of a series of job cuts at the company……. (more from The Taipei Times)

Posted in Asia, Business, China, Company, Economy, employment, News, Taiwan, World | Comments Off on Taiwan Company to cut more than 30,000 jobs in China

Human Rights in Taiwan and China Today (2): Speech by Hon. David Kilgour

Posted by Author on December 16, 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)

Recently, the drafters of the statement received a response from Taiwan’s current Minister of Justice, Wang Ching-feng, which was published in the Taipei Times at:
http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/editorials/archives/2008/11/25/2003429508.
Their response to the minister’s explanation is so important to the rule of law in any democratic country that I venture to quote it in its entirety. It reads:

November 28th 2008 letter to the Honourable Wang Ching-feng, Minister of Justice, Taipei, Taiwan

“In an open letter to the Taipei Times, published on November 25th 2008, you responded to our joint statement regarding the erosion of justice in Taiwan.  We appreciate your acknowledgement of the sincerity of our concerns, and are grateful to receive a prompt and serious reply.  Based on the information available to us, however, we remain concerned about choices made by prosecutors in applying existing legal authority and strongly believe in the need for reform. Please allow us to highlight a number of specific points:

1. The procedure of ‘preventive detention’. This procedure is obviously intended for serious criminal cases in which the suspect is likely to flee the country.  In his November 13th article in the South China Morning Post, Professor Jerome Cohen states that “it ought to be invoked rarely.”   Yet, during the past weeks, it has been used across the board, and it has been used only against present and former members of the DPP government.  This casts severe doubts on the impartiality of the judicial system.  We also wish to point out that the people involved were detained under deplorable circumstances, and that they were not even allowed to see relatives.

2. The open letter contains the argument that when they were detained, the present and former DPP government officials “were all informed of the charges that had been brought against them.”   This is simply not correct: when they were detained, they were subject to lengthy interrogations – in some cases for up to 20 hours – which bore the character of a “fishing expedition”, and do not represent a formal indictment in any legal sense.  In most cases the prosecutors had had months of time to collect information: if they did have sufficient evidence of wrong-doing, they should formally have charged the persons and let them have their day in a scrupulously impartial court of law. That would be the desirable procedure under the rule of law in a democratic society.

3.The open letter also states that the persons involved had “the right and ability to communicate with their attorneys to seek legal assistance.”  It neglects to mention that in all cases where people were detained, the discussions with the lawyers were recorded and videotaped, while a guard took notes.  This information was then immediately transmitted to the respective prosecutors.  We don’t need to point out that this is a grave infringement on international norms regarding the lawyer-client privilege, and makes mounting an adequate defense problematic at best.

4.On the issue of leaks to the press, the letter states that under the Code of Criminal Procedure information on ongoing investigations can only be disclosed by spokespersons of the prosecutor’s offices and that unauthorized disclosure is subject to criminal prosecution.  The fact of the matter is that during the past weeks, the media has been filled with information on the ongoing  investigations which could only have come from the prosecutors.  We may point out one example, but there are numerous others:  Only a few hours after former Foreign Minister Mark Chen was questioned on November 3rd, the Apple Daily (a local tabloid) ran an article that “the prosecutors are thinking of charging Dr. Chen in relation to the case.”

The issue of violation of the principle of secret investigation was also raised by Shih Lin District Court Judge Hung Ing-hua, who strongly criticized the present situation and procedures followed by your Ministry in an article in the Liberty Times on November 17th 2008.

We may also mention that we find it highly peculiar that no steps whatsoever have been taken against the various prosecutors who leaked information, while we just learned that the Ministry of Justice is now taking steps against Mr. Cheng Wen-long, the lawyer for former President Chen Shui-bian, who presumably “leaked” information to the press.  The Ministry sent a formal request to the Taipei District Prosecutor’s Office asking the office to investigate and prosecute, and also sent a formal request to Taiwan Lawyer’s Association and asked the association to review the case and see whether Cheng should have his license revoked.

It is our understanding that the statements Mr. Cheng made were in relation to former President Chen’s views on Taiwan’s situation and its future, and an expression of love for his wife, but did not have any bearing on the case against him.  We hope you realize that if the Ministry proceeds along these lines, this will be perceived as a direct confirmation of the strong political bias of the judicial system. (to be cont’d)

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

Posted in Asia, China, Law, News, People, politician, Politics, Social, Taiwan, World | Comments Off on Human Rights in Taiwan and China Today (2): Speech by Hon. David Kilgour

Human Rights in Taiwan and China Today (1): Speech by Hon. David Kilgour

Posted by Author on December 15, 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 –

TAIWAN

December 10 marks the tenth anniversary of the ground-breaking of the Human Rights Monument on Green Island in Taiwan. It serves as a reminder of your country’s history of political persecution and human rights abuses between from the late 1940s through the end of the 1980s. A total of 20,000 to 30,000 political prisoners of conscience, including author Bo Yang and many of the defendants in the Kaohsiung Incident, were imprisoned on the Taiwanese version of the South Africa’s Robben Island.

Bo Yang, who passed away this year, was imprisoned on the island in 1969 after he translated a “Popeye” comic from English to Chinese. He was accused of making fun of your late president Chiang Kai-shek, and served a ten-year sentence for “undermining the affection between the people and the government.” With many intellectuals, Bo Yang sought to expose the totalitarian nature of governance then on both sides of the Strait of Taiwan.

December 10th is also the 29th anniversary of the notorious Kaohsiung Incident of December 1979. Much has been written about its mindless and brutal violence against so many residents of this city, but I believe the most comprehensive account is found at http://www.taiwandc.org/hst-1979.htm. It includes a link to “The Kaohsiung Tapes”, which contains the full text of what was said during the night of December 10th. The incident proved a major turning point in Taiwan’s transition to democracy, in particular since many of the defendants and lawyers became prominent leaders in a rule-of-law and democratic Taiwan.

As you all know, there has still been no closure on the deaths of Assemblyman Lin Yi-hsiung’s mother and two daughters, who, as related in the Kaohsiung Tapes, were killed in their home while Mr. Lin was held in detention. Many continue to ask why the offenders have not been found and charged.

2008

The past three decades have seen Taiwan emerge as a beacon of hope for rule-of-law and democratic development in much of Asia. However, turning to recent developments, many Taiwanese and friends of Taiwan abroad are saying that there has been a dramatic deterioration in the rule-of-law, human dignity and democratic practices in recent months. This phenomenon can be divided into two parts:

1. The disproportionate police response during the visit of China’s envoy Chen Yun-lin, which led to many citizens, including a number of your legislators, being hospitalized with a broken arm, concussions and other injuries. We also wonder why police prevented people from waving the national flag (and in many cases even confiscating them), while people wearing T-shirts with “I love Taiwan” were told to remove the T-shirts.  What happened to the principle of freedom of expression?

In particular I should like to refer to the “Wild Strawberry” student movement, which started on November 6th in response to excessive use of force by the police, resulting in large numbers of civilian injuries. The group also protested the severe infringement on freedoms of speech during the events surrounding Chen Yun-lin’s visit. The students continue to demand quite reasonably a revision of the Parade and Assembly Law.

2. Many are also concerned about the arrests and “preventive detention” of former members of the DPP government. This led twenty-two international scholars and writers to issue an open statement on November 4th, which can be accessed at http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/editorials/archives/2008/11/06/2003427918. …… (to be cont’d)

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

Posted in Asia, China, Human Rights, Law, News, Official, People, politician, Politics, Social, Taiwan, World | 1 Comment »

FEDER: Double standards on China

Posted by Author on December 12, 2008


Don Feder, The Washington Times, Wednesday, December 10, 2008 –

With much self-congratulatory back-slapping today, Dec. 10, the United Nations will celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The Declaration is a noble document to which many U.N. members pay lip-service, and routinely violate.

In the aftermath of World War II – with memories of genocide and other atrocities still fresh – the delegates from 48 nations who gathered in Paris in 1948 were anxious to affirm the universality of human rights.

Thus, the UDHR’s preamble affirms that “recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.”

It goes on to affirm: “the right to life, liberty and security of person,” freedom from cruel or degrading punishment, freedom from arbitrary arrest and detention, the right to a fair hearing by an “independent and impartial tribunal,” freedom of conscience and expression, freedom of religion, and the right to protest.

The document also proclaims “the will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government” – said will expressed in “periodic and genuine elections.”

While all this looks great on paper, the operation of the United Nations makes a mockery of UDHR. Nowhere is this more starkly revealed than in its treatment of China and Taiwan. These neighbors across the Taiwan Straits provide their own vivid contrast in the area of human rights.

After two decades of political reform, Taiwan is one of the freest countries in Asia. The first multiparty legislative elections occurred in 1991-92. Since 1996, Taiwan has had four presidential elections and two orderly transfers of power between the major parties.

Its people enjoy freedom of expression and worship, the right to fair trial by an independent judiciary, freedom of the press, the right to peacefully protest and freedom from arbitrary arrest, to the same degree as citizens of the more mature democracies.

The People’s Republic of China is to human rights what Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is to world peace. The Communist Party has a monopoly on political power, which it will do anything to maintain.

Freedom of protest? Think Tiananmen Square. Freedom from arbitrary arrest? Ask the Falun Gong practitioners consigned to China’s brutal penal system. Freedom of religion? Consider the fate of the home church movement.

The courts are controlled by the party, which directs verdicts and sentences in political cases. Beijing even periodically cracks down on the Internet.

Among other horrors, there’s a brisk trade in organs from executed prisoners. In some cases, removal of organs reportedly is the method of execution.

The foregoing notwithstanding, China is an honored member of the United Nations. It’s a permanent member of the Security Council. In perhaps the ultimate irony, China sits on the U.N. Human Rights Council.

Taiwan is a virtual pariah. Of 192 U.N. members, only 24 have diplomatic relations with the Republic of China on Taiwan.

Though a founding member of the United Nations, Taiwan was expelled in 1971 when the People’s Barbed-Wire Enclosure was admitted. Taiwan has tried to regain membership in the world body, in some form or fashion, since 1993. Only one thing stands in its way – China.

Thus, one of the world’s worst human-rights abusers has kept a country that scrupulously respects human rights out of the body that promulgated the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In light of warming relations with the mainland, Taiwan hoped this year it could at least get a consideration of its participation in specialized U.N. bodies – like the World Health Organization.

This modest request was brusquely rebuffed. Under pressure from Beijing, on Sept. 17, the chairman of the General Committee (which sets the agenda for the General Assembly) ruled that because of a “lack of consensus,” Taiwan’s participation in the United Nations would not be considered at the General Assembly’s 63rd session.

While the Universal Declaration of Human Rights does not explicitly include the right of a people to participate in international organizations, such a right is surely implied.

And such a right has consistently been denied to Taiwan’s 23 million people. On Dec. 10, what’s to celebrate?

Don Feder is a nationally syndicated columnist.

The Washington Times

Posted in Asia, China, Human Rights, Law, News, Politics, Social, Special day, Taiwan, World | 2 Comments »

Taiwan must not copy China in human rights (2)

Posted by Author on December 1, 2008


Editorial, Taiwan News, 2008-11-27 – (cont’d)

Converging standards

These example of state violence and suppression of human rights in the so-called “rising China” are alarming enough in Taiwan society with our own experience of state violence in the KMT regime’s suppression of the popular rebellion of Feb. 28, 1947 and four decades of “white terror” under martial law through the late 1980s.

But the UNCAT report takes on even more frightening cast given the drive by the KMT government under President Ma Ying-jeou to comprehensively “deregulate” and intensify interaction with the PRC and in the wake of the extensive restriction of civic freedoms, such as freedom of speech and assembly, and the liberal use of state and police violence against Taiwan citizens during the visit earlier this month by Chinese envoy Chen Yunlin. Evidently, in his haste to promote “rapprochement” between the KMT and the CCP, Ma seems to have forgotten both his own repeated expressions of support for the Chinese June Fourth democracy movement and his verbal commitment to defend human rights in Taiwan and ensure that Taiwan’s future is decided only by the 23 million people of Taiwan.

Ironically, while the UNCAT report condemned the PRC for keeping suspects under custody “for 37 days or longer periods,” Taiwan prosecutors have in recent months similarly detained present and former DPP government officials as “suspects” incommunicado for up to two months without filing indictments.

These actions have sparked students, legal scholars as well as human rights, civic reform and social movement organizations and opposition parties to launch a campaign to resist the KMT’s apparent attempt to rollback Taiwan’s human rights standards to PRC levels.

International scholars and prominent human rights organizations such as Freedom House and the Paris-based International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) also have issued open letters expressing deep concern over these trends in a positive sign that Taiwan’s democracy and its achievements in human rights is valued by the world community.

Unfortunately, Tuesday’s dismissive response to these expressions of global concern by Justice Minister Wang Ching-feng, who chided critics for their “lack of understanding or misunderstanding of due process of law in Taiwan,” seems to have been copied from Qin Gang’s notebook.

For the sake of Taiwan’s own sovereignty and human rights as well as for the welfare of the 1.3 billion Chinese people and our world’s future, we urge the people of Taiwan to more actively assist the development of human rights and democracy in China and stand up and speak out to ensure that we retain our hard-won democracy and deepen our protection for human rights instead of allowing a rollback to PRC standards.  (End)

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– from Taiwan News: Taiwan must not copy PRC in human rights

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Taiwan must not copy China in human rights (1)

Posted by Author on December 1, 2008


Editorial, Taiwan News, 2008-11-27 –

Taiwan citizens should pay close attention to the “concluding observations” issued Saturday by the Geneva-based United Nations Committee Against Torture after its fourth periodic review of the People’s Republic of China’s implementation of the U.N. Covenant Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, especially in light of alarming trends in our own country since the restoration of Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang) rule in May.

Even though the PRC government signed the U.N. Covenant Against Torture in 1998, the UNCAT found that China remains a country in which there is “routine and widespread use of torture and ill-treatment of suspects in police custody, especially to extract confessions or information to be used in criminal proceedings.”

Moreover, the U.N. committee listed numerous major obstacles impeding implementation of the Covenant, including systematic harassment and even detention and torture of defense lawyers and human rights defenders.

The committee took special note of Article 306 in the PRC Criminal Law and Article 39 of the PRC Code of Criminal Procedures which “allow prosecutors to arrest lawyers on grounds of ‘perjury’ or ‘false testimony'” and noted such “legal” powers permit prosecutors to intimidate lawyers or legal workers attempting to collect evidence in rights cases and cited cases involving two human rights lawyers, namely Teng Biao and Gao Zhisheng.

Moreover, the UNCAT noted that human rights defenders in the PRC are subject to even worse treatment, as shown by the cases of Hu Jia who was arrested last December and sentenced to three years in prison in April for “inciting rebellion against the state” for participating in efforts to protect the human rights and secure the treatment of AIDS victims and a violent beating given by unknown assailants to human rights activist Li Heping in September 2007.

The U.N. committee therefore called on Beijing “to abolish any legal provisions which undermine the independence of lawyers and should investigate all attacks against lawyers and petitioners, with a view to prosecution as appropriate” and “take immediate action to investigate acts of intimidation and other ways of impeding the independent work of lawyers.”

The response by the Chinese Communist Party-ruled PRC to this and numerous other UNCAT recommendations was predictable.

PRC Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang called the UNCAT document “untrue and slanderous” and declared that his government cherished human rights and opposed torture. (to be cont’d)

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– from Taiwan News: Taiwan must not copy PRC in human rights

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U.S.- China ties weaken Japan alliances

Posted by Author on November 25, 2008


The Japan Times, Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2008 –

As the United States works harder than ever to strengthen relations with China, there are signs its alliances with Japan and Taiwan are weakening. A conspicuous sign of change in Japan-U.S. ties came early Oct. 12 when President George W. Bush telephoned Prime Minister Taro Aso to inform the latter of the decision to remove North Korea from Washington’s list of terrorism-supporting nations.

Officials of Japan’s Foreign Ministry had suspected that Washington would take this action despite Tokyo’s repeated pleas not to appear conciliatory toward North Korea before the fate of Japanese citizens abducted by Pyongyang in the 1970s and ’80s was resolved. The phone call came only half an hour before the State Department announced its decision.

Other signs indicate that Washington is more interested in promoting ties with Beijing than in maintaining existing military alliances with Japan or Taiwan. For one thing, Washington has refused to provide Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force with the next-generation F-22 Raptor fighter. For another, the U.S. has declined Taiwan’s request for attack helicopters and diesel-powered submarines.

To make matters worse, a Chinese diplomat hints that North Korean strongman Kim Jong Il has regretted pursuing “mea culpa” diplomacy with Japan since admitting to then Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi in 2002 that his followers were responsible for the abductions. A handful of abductees were returned to Japan; Pyongyang has not made known the whereabouts of others.

Ever since the end of the Cold War, the Korean Peninsula and the Taiwan Strait have been hot spots for American military operations in Asia. The Bush administration, however, has shifted its diplomatic strategy toward building a stronger cooperative relationship with China, as Washington has been beset with wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and annual military expenditures of $200 billion.

Even though Russia has developed Su-35 fighters and China has come up with Jian-10 fighters, to compete with the F-22 Raptor, the U.S. has refused to provide the ASDF with its most advanced fighter apparently because Washington attaches greater importance to easing tension with Beijing than to strengthening the military alliance with Tokyo……. (more details from The Japan Times)

Posted in Asia, China, Japan, military, News, Politics, Taiwan, Technology, USA, World | Comments Off on U.S.- China ties weaken Japan alliances

Unity against Communist China’s ‘United Front’ (2) : On history and today

Posted by Author on November 16, 2008


The Taipei Times, Taiwan, Sunday, Nov 16, 2008-

(Cont’d)

When President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) came to power, the CCP was extremely pleased because the KMT had finally produced another Sun Yueh-chi. Thus, “Mr Ma” has become the primary target in China’s united front strategy. When Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait Chairman Chen Yunlin (陳雲林) visited Taiwan, we clearly saw the real intent behind China’s friendly demeanor.

Chen assumed a modest attitude and did not show resentment when seeing protesters. He even said: “I heard and saw what they were saying.”

After signing four agreements with Chen, the KMT devoted itself to wining and dining the Chinese envoy, unaware that it was becoming an obedient puppy on a CCP leash.

The united front strategy is becoming more concrete, and we must be on our guard in several areas.

The CCP will try to sow division not only between the KMT and the DPP, but also between factions within the parties in an attempt to weaken their strength, as the CCP fears that its enemies could work together and thus become stronger.

There will also be attempts at co-opting individual people and organizations. Different players in Taiwan have different interests and ideologies, and this offers the CCP an excellent opportunity. Large Taiwanese enterprises want to be profitable in China and financial institutes are thinking about opening branches there, while many people have hometown bonds in China.

Some politicians also like to go to China to share in benefits from accelerated cross-strait exchanges. Add to this the growing confrontation between the KMT and the DPP, and the conditions are perfect for China to alienate one party from another. While Taiwan suffers from domestic conflict, the CCP wins over KMT supporters. The ramifications are clear.

Another technique is infiltration. When Chen was in Taiwan, we could see that he already had people here serving as cheerleaders. When he was silent, someone would speak for him. When he made an improper remark, someone would put things right. When he tried to demean Taiwanese public opinion, someone would justify his actions.

It is clear that signing the cross-strait agreements was not a beneficial act for Taiwan, yet some people have extolled it as an essential process and argue that the agreements will profit Taiwanese industry.

Media outlets in Taiwan have become mouthpieces for China. Recently, the China Times Group was acquired by the China-based Taiwanese company Want Want China Holdings Ltd. Will the company be able to refrain from flattering the Chinese government after this change in ownership? Such infiltration is all but certain to extend to the industrial, technological and cultural sectors, for example, as well as academia.

Taiwanese will be attracted to China. Since cross-strait charter flights were implemented, the doors to Taiwan have been opened wide without any protective mechanism put in place.

Rapid economic development in China’s coastal cities will inevitably attract more and more people to invest there. By that time, Taiwan will have no strength to resist; it will, for all intents and purposes, become a Chinese locality.

Chen’s “smiling attack” on Taiwanese is part of China’s united front strategy. Under pressure from increasing public opposition in Taiwan, Chen will likely be at pains to show more goodwill to help resolve Ma’s political crisis. We must exercise caution and look beyond these tricks. We must expose China’s true colors to alert the Taiwanese public to the seriousness of the situation and call on them to stand up for their country and fight this pernicious enemy.

Only with opposition unity can the Ma government be prevented from colluding with Chen and China and thus selling out Taiwan. (end)

Previous

The Taipei Times

Posted in Asia, China, Communist Party, KMT, News, Official, People, Politics, Social, Taiwan, World | Comments Off on Unity against Communist China’s ‘United Front’ (2) : On history and today

Taiwan Falun Gong Fights Back in Hong Kong

Posted by Author on November 4, 2008


Taiwanese Falun Gong members are taking on Hong Kong’s immigration department in the territory’s courts over alleged discrimination

By Celia Llopis-Jepsen, STAFF REPORTER, The Taipei Times, Taiwan, Sunday, Nov 02, 2008-

Human rights lawyer Theresa Chu (朱婉琪) has been blocked from entering Hong Kong four times since 2002 at “sensitive” times. Like other Taiwanese Falun Gong followers who have been pulled aside by immigration officers and put on a plane back home, each time Chu had valid travel documents. She was not told why Hong Kong had issued her a visa in advance of her trip yet was turning her back at Hong Kong International Airport. Once, she said, airport police even strapped her to a stretcher to transport her to her return flight.

But Chu has also entered Hong Kong dozens of times, most recently last month — to appear in court. She is one of a group of five Taiwanese Falun Gong practitioners who have taken their grievances to court, accusing the territory’s immigration department of discriminating against them based on their religion. The case stems from an incident in February 2003, when some 80 Taiwanese Falun Gong practitioners were turned back at Hong Kong International Airport by Hong Kong immigration on their way to a conference.

The complaint was filed more than five years ago against Lai Tung-kwok (黎棟國), then-director of the Immigration Department of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administration Region. In September, the case reached the Court of Appeal of the High Court, where Chu and her fellow plaintiffs finally saw some signs of hope. The court demanded that the immigration department provide evidence supporting its claim that the five people in question posed a threat to national security.

The court is currently reviewing an affidavit submitted by the immigration department and there will be a final hearing on March 12 to March 13 next year. “According to the affidavit the Hong Kong government immigration department provided to the court, the papers and related computer records about the five Taiwanese Falun gong practitioners were destroyed in accordance with standard procedures on March 12, 2003,” said Chu, who is not allowed to show the affidavit or quote directly from it to a third party.

Chu’s tale is not unusual. In June 2007 a dozen Taiwanese Falun Gong practitioners were blocked from entering Hong Kong. The movement was planning a demonstration on July 1, 2007, the 10th anniversary of the territory’s handover to China, and the Taiwanese intended to participate.

The US State Department expressed its concern about the June 2007 incident in a statement asking Hong Kong to “continue to uphold its high standards of personal and political freedom.”

In Taiwan, the Mainland Affairs Council and the Ministry of Transportation and Communications have looked into allegations that Hong Kong immigration authorities had asked Taiwanese airlines to block Falun Gong practitioners from boarding flights to Hong Kong ahead of the anniversary. Local airlines confirmed the allegations but emphasized they had not complied with the request.

Representatives of a Taiwanese airline attended a “meeting held by the Hong Kong Immigration Department on June 25, 2007,” the council wrote in a formal letter to Chu after investigating a complaint submitted by the repatriated Falun Gong practitioners. “They didn’t cooperate … in dissuading some Taiwanese nationals from boarding and flying to Hong Kong,” said the council, which sent a formal complaint to Hong Kong and issued a statement condemning its actions. The council did not name the airline in question.

Some followers of Falun Gong planning to attend the 2007 rally had received faxes from their Taichung travel agency of an e-mail, a copy of which was obtained by the Taipei Times, from China Airlines saying the airline had been told that a list of known Falun Gong practitioners would be barred from entering Hong Kong. The agency and airline wanted to make clear they would not refund tickets if people on the list were repatriated.

Beijing has never been subtle about its persecution of Falun Gong, which it banned in 1999 after thousands of the movement’s practitioners organized a peaceful demonstration at the Chinese Communist Party’s central compound, Zhongnanhai (中南海), in Beijing. The movement has attracted millions of followers with a mix of traditional Chinese calisthenics and doctrines drawn from Buddhism, Taoism and the ideas of its founder, Li Hongzhi (李洪志), a former government clerk who now lives in the US.

In Hong Kong, however, where the movement is legal, authorities have to play by different rules. But human rights groups in the special administrative region say Beijing is tightening its control over Hong Kong, resulting in the erosion of freedoms for Falun Gong practitioners guaranteed under the territory’s Basic Law.

Law Yuk Kai (羅沃啟), director of the nonprofit organization Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor, said discrimination against the Falun Gong is evident. His organization is following the proceedings of the case filed by Chu and her peers.

“Hong Kong enjoys ‘one country, two systems.’ In this kind of system, our [immigration] director is expected to work independently,” of China, Law said in a telephone interview. But this is not the case when it comes to the Falun Gong, he said. “It seems quite obvious that Falun Gong people have been denied entry,” he said. “We have a tradition of a free society, we do not dismiss people on the grounds of their religious beliefs.”

Hong Kong’s immigration department said the five Taiwanese who filed the court case were not denied entry because of their religion, but because of national security concerns.

Law is skeptical of this claim. “We don’t see these people as a threat to security; they have been allowed to enter Hong Kong in the past. So it seems motivated by something else,” he said. “And the time when they wanted to enter Hong Kong [and were rejected] there were important things going on here.”

Chu said she has only been denied entry when planning to attend Falun Gong demonstrations or conferences or at “sensitive times,” such as the Olympics or when important Chinese officials were visiting Hong Kong.

“They bound me, even tightly,” she said, referring to the incident when she was wrapped in a blanket and strapped to a gurney by airport police before being wheeled to a Taiwan-bound flight. “I said, ‘How can you treat me like this?’ I said, ‘I am on your side, I protected your rights against Article 23,’” recalled Chu, who was active in the fight to block the implementation of Article 23 of the Basic Law. The proposed legislation, which would have dealt a severe blow to freedom of association and religion in Hong Kong, sparked mass street protests in the territory in 2003.

According to Chu, one of the female immigration officers walked away crying. “The orders come from Zhongnanhai,” the woman said.

Taiwanese Falun Gong followers are not the only ones who say they have experienced this kind of treatment……. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Asia, China, Falun Gong, Freedom of Belief, Hong kong, Human Rights, Law, News, People, Politics, Religion, Religious, Social, Taiwan, World | Comments Off on Taiwan Falun Gong Fights Back in Hong Kong

Taiwan bans China protein powder due to melamine

Posted by Author on October 30, 2008


Reuters, Wed Oct 29, 2008-

TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwan has banned protein powder from China after tests found contamination, adding to a list of Chinese products that the island has halted amid a tainted milk powder scandal, local media said on Wednesday.

The Taiwan Department of Health asked importers to recall and quit shipping protein powder, 393 tonnes of which had come from China this year to date, after tests turned up melamine in nearly half random samples, media and health authorities said.

“Our department has demanded that importers immediately recall this product and asked all local health bureaux to seal the imports for safekeeping,” the department said in a statement.

Protein powder, a dietary supplement, is the latest China food import to be banned in Taiwan since last month. Dairy products, ammonium bicarbonate and a host of packaged food items have also been halted due to melamine fears.

In China, at least four children have died and tens of thousands fallen ill with kidney stones amid the melamine scandal, the latest in a series of health scares to sully the “made in China” label.

Chinese-made products have been recalled in countries throughout the world due to melamine contamination fears. The compound is often added to cheat nutrition tests.

China has claimed sovereignty over self-ruled Taiwan since the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949. Beijing has vowed to bring the island back under mainland rule, by force if necessary.

Reuters

Posted in Asia, China, Economy, Food, Health, Life, Made in China, News, products, Social, Tainted Products, Taiwan, World | 1 Comment »

All milk products from China to be pulled from store shelves in Taipei City, Taiwan

Posted by Author on September 18, 2008


Central News Agency, via etaiwannews.com, 2008-09-18 –

The health authorities of Taipei City ordered stores in the capital Wednesday to remove all milk products imported from China from their shelves immediately, or they could face a fine of up to NT$1.5 million (US$46,705).

Chiang Yu-mei, director of the Food and Drug Division of the Taipei City government’s health department, said that her office had received a notice from the Cabinet-level Department of Health (DOH) that sales of Chinese-made milk power and related products should be suspended immediately, after an official Chinese report confirmed that the products of 22 of the 109 milk food companies in China failed to meet safety standards because their products all contained melamine — a harmful chemical that could cause kidney stones and other problems.

Chiang explained that instead of merely requiring stores in Taipei to stop selling milk products from China, her office decided to order the stores to remove all such products from their shelves, so that shoppers could avoid buying the products by mistake.

She said her office took a harsher measure than required by the DOH because the move could prevent unnecessary disputes that might arise if the questionable products are allowed to remain on store shelves.

Chiang added that importers of these milk products must submit their products to designated laboratories for testing to prove that the products are free of melamine, and that sales will be allowed to resume only after the importers present documents to the DOH to certify that the products are safe.

Stores that keep milk products from China on their shelves will be liable to a fine of between NT$60,000 and NT$1.5 million, meted out on a daily basis, she warned.

The consumer alarm over milk products from China was triggered by publicity last week of a scandal involving China’s Sanlu Group, which mixed melamine with its milk powder. The mixture caused kidney stones and other complications in more than 1,200 infants in China, with 340 still in hospital and 53 in serious condition.

Taiwan imported some 1,000 bags of Sanlu-brand milk powder, but health authorities have traced most of them and have had them destroyed over the past few days.

Public concern over the safety of milk products from China was further aggravated by a report Wednesday that more tests by China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine had found that in addition to Sanlu, 21 other food firms have also added melamine to their milk products.

– Original report: etaiwannews.com

Posted in Asia, China, Economy, Food, Health, Law, Life, Made in China, News, Politics, products, Social, Tainted Products, Taiwan, World | Comments Off on All milk products from China to be pulled from store shelves in Taipei City, Taiwan

China’s Defame Propaganda On Tibet A Verbal Blast From The Past

Posted by Author on April 17, 2008


AFP, Apr. 17, 2008-

BEIJING (AFP) — As it fights back against foreign criticism of its Tibet policies, China has at times appeared to have dusted off one of its propaganda manuals from the Cultural Revolution.

Through its state-controlled media, China has called US Congressional leader Nancy Pelosi “disgusting” and “detested”, while the Dalai Lama has been branded a lying “wolf with the face of a human and the heart of a beast”.

China’s communist rulers have in recent years been at pains to portray themselves as responsible and moderate, overseeing the nation’s peaceful rise on the world stage as it prepares to host the Beijing Olympics this year.

But China’s fierce push-back over criticism of its Tibet crackdown and human rights record illustrates that decades-old Communist propaganda habits are hard to break, experts said.

“I believe the Chinese people and leaders had been hoping so much for a successful Olympics that they are frustrated and angry at the foreign responses,” said Ezra Vogel, an Asia expert at Harvard University.

Vogel said that although those in the foreign ministry would be aware of the problems of using such fiery language, the propaganda and other arms of the Chinese government still had no qualms with using old-style rhetoric.

“The response does not reflect the advice that would have been given by the cosmopolitan, wise leaders in (the foreign ministry) and elsewhere who have a subtle understanding of what is needed to get foreign understanding,” he said.

It has been years since China has employed such strong language, and recalls over-the-top political invective of the past.

During the upheaval of the 1966-76 Cultural Revolution, purged political leaders such as Deng Xiaoping were reviled as “traitors”, “scabs” and “running dogs of capitalism.”

When Hong Kong’s former British colonial governor Chris Patten introduced democratic reforms before the territory’s return to China in 1997, he was derided as “the whore of the East” and a “criminal who would be condemned for a thousand generations.”

Former Taiwan president Lee Teng-hui, who infuriated China with moves seen as leaning towards independence for the China-claimed island, was branded the “No.1 scum” and a “deformed test-tube baby conceived in the political laboratory of hostile anti-China forces.”

Although not quite as colourful, the official Xinhua news agency and other state-controlled media have in recent weeks put out near daily verbal attacks that, true to Cultural Revolution norms, have singled out targets for scorn.

Foremost is the Dalai Lama, whom China claims orchestrated widespread rioting across the Tibetan Plateau last month, despite his denials.

The state-controlled Tibet Daily has called him “a wolf who has the face of a human but the heart of a beast”, and quoted leaders calling for a “people’s war” against his sympathisers.

Over the weekend, Xinhua called US House Speaker Pelosi, an outspoken critic of the Tibet crackdown, “disgusting.”

“How can such an irresponsible political figure not be detested by all the Chinese people?” Xinhua asked.

Meanwhile, those seen as opposing the Chinese government — whether they be Tibetans, the Western media or Taiwanese hoping for independence — are almost inevitably told they are “doomed to fail”.

Overseas protests against China’s policies in Tibet have provoked the official vitriol by meddling in an issue certain to inflame Chinese nationalism, said Hu Xingdou, a lecturer at Beijing Institute of Technology.

“But the Chinese government has its faults, too. Had we allowed (foreign) journalists into Tibet in the first place, they wouldn’t jump to the conclusion that we have something to hide,” Hu said.

“And Chinese media should be more rational, polite, and reasonable.”

Although the rhetoric may play well to a domestic audience, Vogel said such harsh language could impact on China’s reputation overseas.

“(China) risks further responses over the Olympics and a general rise in foreign concern about the peaceful rise of China,” he said.

Originla report from AFP: China’s propaganda on Tibet a verbal blast from the past

Posted in Asia, China, Japan, Media, News, Politics, Social, Taiwan, Tibetan, World | Comments Off on China’s Defame Propaganda On Tibet A Verbal Blast From The Past

Ma Ying-jeou Is New Taiwan President

Posted by Author on March 25, 2008


DPA Via Bangkok Post, Thailand, 22 Mar 2008-

Taipei (dpa) – Taiwan’s opposition front-runner, Ma Ying-jeou, swept to a landslide victory in the presidential election on Saturday, the Central Election Commission said.

The popular Chinese Nationalist Party or Kuomintang (KMT) candidate garnered more than 7.6 million votes, or 58.45 per cent of the total vote count.

His Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) opponent Frank Hsieh was only able to collect 5.4 million votes or 41.55 per cent of the total vote count out of a turnout of 13.2 million, the commission said.

“Today’s victory is not my victory or the victory of one political party. It is the victory of the Taiwan people who want reform and change,” Ma told supporters outside his campaign headquarters.

Ma said he shoulders heavy responsibilities. “We will transform our people’s desires into concrete policies and improve people’s lives and build up our country,” he said.

Ma’s election marks the end of the DPP’s hold on power on the self-governing island of 23 million people after the KMT crushed the pro-independence party in January’s parliamentary elections……. (more details from Bangkok Post)

Posted in Asia, News, People, politician, Politics, Social, Taiwan, World | Comments Off on Ma Ying-jeou Is New Taiwan President

International Rights Forum Plans Boycott of Beijing Olympics

Posted by Author on February 27, 2008


By James Donald, Special to The China Post, Taiwan, Friday, February 22, 2008-

Speakers from international human rights organizations yesterday strongly denounced what they called “China’s evil communist regime” over its alleged human rights abuses. Some participants proposed a boycott of the Beijing Olympiad this August, while others said China’s tactics of discrimination have only worsened since it won the bid to host the 2008 Olympics.

Papers and speeches at the two-day forum continued today, with strong wording on China’s ruling party and treatment of its citizens. Authors presented papers such as “The Chinese Communist Regime Has Never Changed Its Evil Nature,” and “Influence of the Beijing Fascist Regime on Western Democracy and World Safety,” in support of boycotting the much-anticipated Olympiad.

Lai Ching-te, lawmaker and president of the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong in China (CIPFG), expressed hope the 2008 Olympics would have the same positive effect on China’s government as the Seoul Olympics, claiming South Korea’s formerly oppressive and undemocratic regime was given the necessary pressure to make way for positive, multi-lateral political change.

“The Olympics gives us important leverage and a channel to push China to fulfill its promises on improving its human rights conditions,” said David Kilgour, former secretary of state for Asia-Pacific Affairs at the U.S. State Department, as he addressed the assembly.

Kilgour commended Taiwan for being “a very good example for China,” citing it as a positive democratic system.

He explained that these Olympic Games would provide an opportunity for the country to be exposed to new pressures from the international community, and to reform its practices.

Kilgour agreed with Lai, who is also chairman of the conference, in choosing not to bring up the topic of a boycott, although it was introduced in a short farcical film screened beforehand of an Olympic torch that is passed around a group of the world’s human rights organizations, in a marathon bid to boycott the Beijing games.

Along with some emotion-packed descriptions of the developing country — such as “evil,” “devilish” and “terror state” — frequent references were made to Beijing’s attempts to use the event to “paint a false image” of itself, as well as the 1936 Berlin Olympics under Hitler’s fascist regime.

In contrast, Kilgour said it was the responsibility of their forum to give a truthful and accurate portrayal of the wrongs done to undeserving people, such as the religious-political organization Falun Gong which indirectly sponsored the event.

Andrew Bartlett, a senator from Queensland, Australia, asked rhetorically, “What price do we put on a human life. What price do we put on freedom?” He meanwhile acknowledged the less-than-perfect record of his own country, whose Parliament’s first act was the racist “White Australia Policy.”

This policy, according to Bartlett “was directed at keeping people like the Chinese out [of the country],” as he went on to denounce the callous treatment of refugees from war-torn countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq by the former Howard-government.

Those refugees, seeking safety and sanctuary from oppressive regimes such as the Taliban and Saddam Hussein, Bartlett said, were shipped to the remote Pacific island of Nauru before being sent back to the country they had fled, and forced to fend for themselves.

However, Bartlett argued that “we owe it to those in China who are subjected to these abuses” to put pressure on the Communist Party to make a stand for human rights.

President Chen Shui-bian, although not present at the event, sent a message of support and congratulations to participants for “helping to pursue democracy and human rights for a better world.”

– Original report from China Post: Rights forum plans boycott of Olympics

Posted in Asia, Beijing Olympics, China, Event, forum, Genocide, Human Rights, Law, News, Politics, Social, Sports, Taiwan, World | 3 Comments »

Over Half of All Chinese Have Read Nine Commentaries, Says Rights Activist

Posted by Author on January 7, 2008


By Wang Renjun, The Epoch Times, Jan 04, 2008-wu Yalin

TAIPEI− A Chinese human rights activist, Mr. Wu Yalin, who is currently seeking political asylum in Taiwan, revealed that over half of Chinese people have read the book Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party (The Nine Commentaries).

Wu is the latest person after Hao Fengjun 1 and Jia Jia 2 to publicly confirm the tremendous and wide spread wave of Chinese people withdrawing from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the Communist Youth League (CYL) and the Communist Young Pioneer (CYP).

Wu obtained a copy of the Nine Commentaries in October 2007. Immediately after receiving the book, he began to read it. He had asked for three copies. Besides leaving a copy for himself, he planned to spread the other two copies amongst his friends.

He finished reading the book in two days. The chapter about 30 million people dying from starvation resonated very strongly in his mind. He commented, “This kind of content is blocked in China. Although I was only two years old at the time, the elderly people in my hometown all pointed out that this famine which was responsible for the deaths of 30 million people was indeed caused by humans, and not natural disasters as reported in the Communist Party’s propaganda.”

Half of all Chinese Have Read The Nine Commentaries

Wu discovered that all of the information found within The  Nine Commentaries is historical fact. Thus he began spreading his three copies of the book amongst his friends one by one, in almost every province throughout China.

In the process of spreading The Nine Commentaries, he discovered that, “Over half of my friends have read this book. Almost everyone has heard about it, some even read it as early as two years ago.”

Wu continued, “As far as I know, The Nine Commentaries are widely spread not only amongst the masses of average people, but also among many communist party members. According to what I know, more than half of the people in China have read it. In addition, the people who read it all comment that, ‘This is true.'”

Wu also pointed out that, “The Nine Commentaries are openly spread overseas, but in mainland China, it is very precious as it is very difficult to obtain a copy.”

Spreading The Nine Commentaries is Illegal in China

On November 11, 2007, Wu received a covert message from a friend informing him that the members of the Bazhong Municipal Party Committee of Sichuan province were secretly planning to sentence Wu to three years in prison for spreading The  Nine Commentaries. Wu was to be brought up on three different charges, including “spreading The Nine Commentaries,” “ganging up with an anti-China force” and “disturbing Beijing’s social order.”

Once Wu learned that he was facing danger, he determined that the jurisdiction of the CCP doesn’t need to go through any court ruling; a sentence from the county Party Committee would be sufficient. Therefore, they could easily fabricate any charges they wanted to; a groundless court decision could thus put an individual into a labor camp for three years.

Wu Yalin, who had previously spent nine years in prison, understood this very well. Without telling any of his friends, he quickly and silently went to Shenzhen. There he joined a travel group heading for Thailand. He finally arrived in Taiwan on December 27, 2007, seeking political asylum.

Many People Secretly Withdraw from the Communist Party

Wu revealed the reason he was able to escape from China is that he had, in fact, prepared his passport a year ago. After having suffered extended persecution at the hands of the Chinese communist regime, he made sure that he was prepared to escape from China at any time.

Immediately after reaching Taiwan on December 28, Wu was informed by his friend, that Sichuan Provincial authority had issued an order for his arrest as a criminal at large. Should Wu return to China, he would be sentenced to three years in a labor camp on unsubstantiated charges.

In recent years many people have doubted the authenticity of the number of people withdrawing from the party. Wu expressed, “In fact, many withdraw from the party under an alias. Because of the Chinese communist regime’s dangerously high pressure policies, many people dare not openly admit that they have withdrawn from the party.”

He also added, “Many people joined the party not out of support for the ideals of the Communist Party, instead, they joined for personal benefits, such as obtaining power and money. I dare to say, if the Communist Party were in a democratic country, then it wouldn’t have a leg to stand on. Nobody would support it because it is indeed far too bad and has committed all manner of evil deeds.”

Average People Haven’t Gained any True Benefits

In the past year, the Chinese communist regime has claimed a so-called “peaceful rise”. Although many think that “the Chinese communist party is getting better” and that “the regime needs to be given more time to make improvements,” Wu doesn’t agree.

He pointed out that “It has been proven time and again that after several decades of reform in China, the economy has improved a lot, however, the people who truly gain the benefits consist of a small percentage of individuals within the party. Many average people haven’t truly gained any benefits. The value of the Chinese yuan has gone up in relation to the U.S. dollar, however, the CCP has used such money to purchase weapons used for threatening and targeting Taiwan, even America. Don’t hold onto false hope that the CCP will be peaceful. We shall cast off this regime as soon as possible.”

[1] Hao Fengjun, former police officer of the 610 Office of the Tianjin Bureau of State Security, sought political asylum in Australia after he fled China in February, 2005. He left his work because he no longer wanted to be involved in the persecution of Falun Gong and other religious groups. Encouraged by the recent events related to the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party and Chen Yonglin, Hao decided to step forward and tell the public the truth.

[2] Jia Jia, former General Secretary of the Shanxi Provincial Association of Scientists and Technology Experts. He left his tourist group in Taiwan on October 30, 2006 and publicly announced his separation from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)

Original report from the Epochtimes

Posted in Activist, all Hot Topic, Asia, China, Culture, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, Law, News, Nine Commentaries, Party withdrawal, People, Politics, Social, Taiwan, World | 2 Comments »

China’s ‘arsenal’ spurs warnings

Posted by Author on November 23, 2007


By Bill Gertz, The Washington Times, U.S. November 22, 2007-

The U.S. military is vulnerable to China’s advanced war-fighting systems, including space weapons and computer attacks that would be used in a future conflict over Taiwan, according to a congressional commission’s report released yesterday.

The full report of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission also provides more details than the summary released last week, showing that China is engaged in a “large-scale industrial espionage campaign” with “scores” of cases involving spies seeking U.S. technology.

The full report presents a harsh assessment of China’s military buildup and plans for a war against the U.S. if Beijing decided to use force against the island nation of Taiwan.

The report provides evidence countering statements by Chinese officials, and some U.S. officials, who say China’s buildup is peaceful.

“The Commission concluded that China is developing its military in ways that enhance its capacity to confront the United States,” the report stated. “For example, China has developed the capability to wage cyber-warfare and to destroy surveillance satellites overhead as part of its tactical, asymmetrical warfare arsenal.”

On Taiwan, the report said tensions between the island nation and China produced an “emotionally-charged stand-off that risks armed conflict if not carefully managed by both sides.”

“Such a conflict could involve the United States,” the report said.

The U.S. military is “significantly exposed to such attacks,” because of its reliance on systems of command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, the report said.

The report also warned that “China also could target America’s critical infrastructure in a confrontation” and said China’s arms buildup appears aimed at “acquiring the ability to overwhelm the defenses of, and successfully attack, U.S. carrier battle groups.”

Gen. James E. Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and former Strategic Command commander, told the commission that China “is actively engaging in cyber-reconnaissance by probing the computer networks of U.S. government agencies as well as private companies.”

On anti-satellite weapons, China used a laser to “blind” a U.S. satellite in 2006, and it is testing microwave weapons to jam satellite communications.

“The successful anti-satellite test conducted by the PLA in January 2007 demonstrated the PLA’s ability to destroy satellites through the use of kinetic weapons as well,” the report said, using the acronym for the People’s Liberation Army, the communist-controlled military.

The report said China’s space-weapons program is being carried out in secret “so China can maintain a positive international image.”

China’s space weapons are planned for use against satellites that pass above China and against U.S. Global Positioning System satellites. The weapons include a combination of ground-launched missiles, weather-monitoring rockets and ground attacks on earth stations.

To fuel its military and civilian economy, China’s government has engaged in what the report called “espionage and industrial theft activities” identified as “the leading threat to the security of U.S. technology.”

Recent Chinese spy cases outlined in the report include the case of FBI-penetration agent Katrina Leung, Chinese-born defense contractor Chi Mak, and Xiaodong Sheldon Meng, who supplied military technology illegally to China.

The report stated that “scores of other instances of espionage go unprosecuted or undetected.”

“As Chinese espionage against the U.S. military and American businesses continues to outpace the overwhelmed U.S. counterintelligence community, critical American secrets and proprietary technologies are being transferred to the PLA and Chinese state-owned companies,” the report said.

The report concluded that “surprises” about Chinese military and technology developments raise questions about the quality of U.S. intelligence on China.

It also revealed that China continues to sell weapons and technology to rogue states and unstable regions.

China is providing military goods to North Korea for use in its missile program and warned that unchecked transfers “could result in the transfer of weapons or technology to North Korea that could destabilize the military balance on the Korean Peninsula and further entrench that regime’s dictatorship,” the report said.

China also allowed North Korea to use ports and airfields to ship military goods to Iran and other states, the report said.

The commission recommended improving the protection of U.S. technology from Chinese spies, and working with U.S. allies to counter China’s cyber-attacks.

Original report from The Washington Times

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Taiwan Bans China Doctors Brokering Organ Transplants

Posted by Author on November 23, 2007


By Mary Silver, Epoch Times Atlanta Staff, Nov 17, 2007-

Amidst increasing international outcry over evidence of China’s systematic and large-scale organ harvesting of unwilling Falun Gong practitioners and others, Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) recently announced that all doctors from China intending to broker organ transplants are banned from entering Taiwan.

The announcement came as part of a collaborative effort by the MAC, the Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Justice to issue administrative regulations stopping transplant tourism to China and to conduct criminal investigations into illegal organ brokering between Taiwan and China.

“What kind of country does Taiwan intend to build?” said Democratic Party Legislator Tian Qiujin at an Oct. 29 press in Taiwan’s Legislature, according to Taiwan’s Liberty Times. “If we kept silent about the atrocity of killing or organ-harvesting that occurred in our neighborhood today, we children might eventually take it for granted and follow suit.”

Tien Chiu-chin held the press conference to address allegations that Taiwan doctors were involved in brokering unethical organ transplants for Taiwan citizens in mainland China.

Tien said healthy prisoners in China may be killed for their organs, not executed for their crimes, according to Taiwan’s Central News Agency. The cash value of the prisoners’ organs, which are sold to waiting transplant candidates, motivates their executions, said Tien. She decried “transplant tourism” to China and called for penalties against Taiwan doctors who facilitate it.

The Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Justice have proposed to increase punishments for Taiwan doctors who have brokered organ transplants in China.

Hsueh Jui-yuan, director of the Department of Health Bureau of Medical Affairs, said at the press conference that doctors who solicited patients to travel to China for organ transplants could face sanctions from reprimand to revoking their medical licenses.

“The Ministry of Justice says they are waiting for us to give more cases; they will conduct an investigation of all Chinese doctors visiting here,” said Theresa Chu, an international human rights attorney in Taiwan and the Asia director of the Human Rights Law Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to defending human rights.

International human rights attorney David Matas and David Kilgour, co-authors of a report titled “Bloody Harvest,” which investigates allegations of organ harvesting in China, held a public hearing in Taiwan’s Congress last October, Chu told The Epoch Times. “Since then Taiwan began to seriously pay attention to organ sources in China.”

An unnamed official of the MAC cautioned potential transplant recipients to work through legal channels. He said international media have reported that Falun Gong practitioners and prisoners in China have been killed for their organs. A recipient could be party to human rights violations.

Case in Point

One recent high-profile case involves Zhu Zhijun, chief of the transplant department of the Tianjin First Medical Centre in China. Zhu has visited Taiwan on several occasions—including March this year—to conduct evaluations on Taiwanese seeking organ transplants in China.

He and two Taiwan doctors are said to have examined liver transplant candidates in hotels in preparation for the patients going to Tianjin for transplants. Zhu’s hospital is said to be the largest liver transplant center in Asia, handling 600 to 700 transplants a year.

Any medical exchanges between China and Taiwan require the permission of the Ministry of Public Health. However, according to Xue Ruiyuan, head of the Ministry’s medical department, Zhu Zhijun had not received permission from the Ministry to conduct his organ brokering.

If the allegations that he facilitated the sale of organs are proven, Zhu can face a prison term of six months to five years if he returned to Taiwan, said the China Post.

Hsueh Jui-yuan said the Department of Health Bureau of Medical Affairs had asked the Taipei City government Department of Health to investigate Zhu’s visit and to find the names the two Taiwan doctors he worked with.

The Taiwan hospital which invited Zhu, the Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Kaohsiung, may face unspecified penalties based on a current statute governing relations between Taiwan and China.

Theresa Chu said other Asian countries will be closely watching what Taiwan is doing to prevent unethical transplant practices. “This matter is very important,” she said.

Original report from the Epochtimes

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China Has Threatened To Attack Taiwan If It Declares Independence

Posted by Author on September 19, 2007


By Laura Trevelyan, BBC News, New York-

Taiwan will make yet another attempt to become a member of the United Nations on Wednesday.

A key UN committee will decide whether to even allow a debate on Taiwan’s application to take place.

But the request is likely to be defeated, just as the island’s 14 previous attempts have been.

Taiwan has long sought recognition as a UN member in its own right but China, which still claims Taiwan as a province, is fiercely opposed to this.

The dispute goes back to 1949 when Taiwan and China split amid civil war.

Demonstrations

Taiwan became the stronghold of the nationalists, while the mainland became the Communist People’s Republic of China.

However, Taiwan held China’s seat at the UN until 1971 when it was transferred to the Beijing-based government.

Earlier this year, Taiwan’s application to join the UN was rejected yet again on legal grounds because of that 1971 UN resolution giving Taiwan’s seat to the People’s Republic of China.

On Wednesday, a key UN committee will once again consider whether to allow discussion of Taiwan’s membership.

But UN officials predict this move will be defeated.

About 250,000 people demonstrated in Taiwan on Saturday in support of the UN membership bid. China has threatened to attack Taiwan if it declares independence.

– Original report from BBC News: Taiwan in fresh UN membership bid

Posted in Asia, China, News, Politics, Social, Taiwan, World | 3 Comments »