China plans to sign a key financial pact with Taiwan later this month as a reward for the island barring a visit by Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer, a report [by the Commercial Times] said Thursday … [citing] remarks by China’s Taiwan Affairs Office officials to Taiwanese businessmen in Beijing ahead of the mainland’s Oct. 1 National Day. The arrangement was made after Taiwan decided last week to prevent exiled Kadeer, branded a “criminal” in Beijing, from making a trip to the island, the paper said. [my italics]
Here’s the facts: Taiwan and China have been discussing the financial pact for months, and even before Kadeer was invited to Taiwan it was expected that the agreement would be signed later this year (with an ECFA following early next year). It is therefore misleading to portray the signing of the pact as a “reward” for the Taiwanese government’s decision not to allow Kadeer to visit. To be fair, the Commercial Times may be the originator of that lie, which AFP simply would be perpetuating.
For different reasons, financial pacts are important for both Taiwan and China — perhaps even more so for China, given the political implications of further tying Taiwan’s economy to China’s. Given this, and since abandoning the pact would go counter to Beijing’s interests, it is downright incorrect to refer to China as “rewarding” Taiwan for something. It also encourages the distorted notion that Taiwan is embracing Beijing’s ideology (on Uighurs) and as a consequence reaping the economic rewards, while providing the image of a father figure (China) rewarding its child (Taiwan) when it “behaves.” Kadeer or no Kadeer, visit or not, that pact was to be signed, period.
The opposition Democratic Progressive Party will show Kadeer’s film and a documentary on alleged Chinese repression in Tibet later Thursday to demonstrate Taiwan’s support for freedom and democracy, it said. [my italics]
There is nothing alleged about repression in Tibet — it’s a fact. Truth be told, the very person who made the documentary has been jailed by Chinese authorities for making it. There is documentation, eyewitness reports, photographs and various electronic recordings of Chinese repression in Tibet, from 1951 onwards. If stark facts such as Chinese repression can be made light of, what other fundamental aspects of our world is AFP not taking seriously, realities easily discarded or conveniently ignored when doing so coincides with the rising untouchable giant?