Taiwan condemns crackdown on Tibet
Monday, March 17, 2008
The government and politicians across party lines in Taiwan yesterday condemned Beijing's bloody oppression of demonstrations in Tibet, the Daily Observer can reveal.
"From this incident, it is apparent that China is far from respecting human rights and upholding democratic values as it claimed it would before the Olympics. That was an empty promise," Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokeswoman Phoebe Yeh said.
In a press release, the ministry condemned China for hiding Tibet from the world at this crucial moment by clamping down on media.
The ministry urged the international community to join in condemning China's actions and urging Beijing to refrain from resorting to more violence to silence those who demand human rights. Beijing must respect universal human rights at home and abroad, including those of the Taiwanese.
Yeh said the government would continue to watch the developments in Tibet, adding that it had provided aid to Tibetans through various channels.
The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said the violence in Lhasa showed that Beijing had not make any progress in respecting human rights since the Tiananmen Massacre in 1989.
Beijing's barbarism in Tibet has given the Taiwanese a clear look at the autocratic regime's tactics, making it obvious that China would never resolve cross-strait tensions peacefully, the council said.
The council called on the international community to condemn China for its human rights abuses, including its rejection of religious freedom and equal treatment for all people.
China's use of violence and military intimidation to achieve its goals makes it amply clear that it will never rule out the option of taking Taiwan by force, the council said.
China's tyrannic crackdown is unfitting of a major player in the region, it said.
Instead of behaving as a responsible stakeholder in the international community, "Beijing has become a genuine threat to regional harmony," it said.
The ministry-level Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Commission said in a statement that Beijing was ignoring calls for peace by Tibetan spiritual and political leader in exile the Dalai Lama.
"The Dalai Lama has just called on the Chinese government to negotiate and to resolve the Tibet issue through rational and peaceful means," it said. "With the Dalai Lama's words still fresh, the Chinese government launched a bloody crackdown on unarmed Tibetan civilians."
At a press conference in Taipei, Democratic Progressive Party presidential candidate Frank Hsieh yesterday denounced the Chinese government's violence.
"We are against any kind of bloody crackdown ... The Tibet incident serves as a warning" of China's treatment of its citizens, he said.
Hsieh's running mate Su Tseng-chang said the crackdown in Tibet demonstrated the same principles outlined in China's "Anti-Secession" Law.
Su was referring to a law enacted by China on March 14, 2005, in which Beijing stated it could use "non-peaceful means" if Taiwan were to declare formal independence.
Article 2 of the law states: "There is only one China in the world. Both the mainland and Taiwan belong to one China ... Taiwan is part of China. The state shall never allow the `Taiwan independence' secessionist forces to make Taiwan secede from China under any name or by any means."
"China hasn't enacted an `Anti-Secession' Law targeting Tibet, but it has rolled out tanks to suppress the Tibetan protests," President Chen Shui-bian said in Kaohsiung yesterday.
"Do you think China would allow Taiwanese people to pursue democracy and freedom?" Chen asked.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou yesterday also condemned Beijing's violent suppression of Tibetan protesters.
"We support Tibetan autonomy and respect Tibetan religious beliefs and customs," Ma said, adding that he would maintain the cross-strait "status quo" if elected.
Author: by Ebrima Jaw Manneh