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Husein Dzhelil standing in front of the Canadian Parliament buildings, Ottawa, Ontario, May2005.
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East Turkistan map (also known as Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region)
Taiwan opposition to show Tibet, Xinjiang films

TAIPEI — Taiwan's pro-independence opposition said Friday it plans to show more films about Tibet and Xinjiang to counter China's alleged boycott of the island's number two city over a controversial biopic.

"We want to stress that Taiwan is a place of freedom of speech and freedom of creation despite China's boycott," said Sky Chao, a spokesman for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

Beijing reportedly has ordered its tourists to stay away from Kaohsiung, a city in the island's south, following the recent visit of the Dalai Lama and a screening this week of a movie on exiled Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer.

China is considering further retaliatory moves, including an order to its cargo ships to avoid Kaohsiung, the island's largest seaport, Chao said, citing shipping industry sources.

"This is interference in our internal affairs and if a precedent is set, we won't be able to see any film or do anything without China's approval," he said.

Kadeer, branded a separatist by Beijing, is planning to visit Taiwan in December following an invitation by groups advocating independence for the island.

If Taiwan's government grants Kadeer a visa, it is likely to infuriate Beijing, which says she is a "criminal" who orchestrated ethnic violence in her home region of Xinjiang in northwest China in July.

Two mass-circulation newspapers on Friday urged the government not to allow her to visit to avoid further straining ties with Beijing.

"Is it really necessary to embarrass China by letting Kadeer visit so soon after the Dalai Lama? Taiwan needs to be wise and flexible when dealing with giant China," the Apple Daily said in an editorial.

Taipei-based China Times said that while Taiwan does not have to follow Beijing's lead in everything, "there is no need to invite Kadeer purely for the sake of provoking China".

Meanwhile, organisers of the Kaohsiung Film Festival were considering whether to put the Kadeer biopic, "The 10 Conditions of Love", back in its programme after criticism for leaving it out.

In a concession, the city government decided to screen the film this week rather than at the high-profile festival in October, in a move that sparked protests from several local directors.

The festival's chairman, director Cheng Wen-tang, was reportedly planning to boycott the opening ceremony while two directors have pulled their documentaries from the festival's programme.

Kadeer, who has lived in exile in the Washington area since her release from a Chinese prison in 2005, denies being behind the July violence. About 200 people died when Uighurs and Han Chinese clashed.
Uyghur Canadian Society (UCS)
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