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
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.