The human rights crisis in Xinjiang foreshadows Taiwan’s future under PRC control, and the island knows it.
Date: May 02, 2019
By: Wen Lii
Amid international concern for the mass incarceration of Uyghurs and other Muslim
minorities in China, growing awareness in Taiwan toward the Uyghur crisis particularly stands out – as it indicates how human rights issues and religious freedom in China could have ramifications on cross-strait relations and regional affairs.
To date, the Chinese government has refrained from disclosing the exact number of Uyghurs and other Muslims arbitrarily detained in its concentration camps – justified as “vocational training centers” by Beijing – scattered across the Xinjiang region. Recent actions by the Chinese government have shown no progress in addressing concerns of the international community. Just the opposite, in fact – Beijing exerted pressure on other countries to warn them against attending a side event on Uyghur rights at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.
In Taiwan, discussions on the Uyghur concentration camps – including media reports as well as remarks by political and opinion leaders – have interpreted China’s abysmal treatment of its own citizens as an indication of what could befall Taiwan if it is brought under the rule of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). In particular, the infringement of freedom in areas such as Xinjiang, Tibet, and Hong Kong highlights China’s inability to govern regions with diverse historical and cultural trajectories within its own borders, while also leading to heightened distrust toward China’s intentions to annex Taiwan under its proposed scheme of “One Country, Two Systems.” In this context, Chinese assurances to respect Taiwan’s existing political institutions under such an arrangement are rendered hollow and even absurd. Meanwhile, the recent verdict that convicted leaders of Hong Kong’s 2014 Umbrella Movement to prison also displays the authoritarian nature of Beijing’s rule. [FULL STORY]