Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

 
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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

Finding the courage to face Morakot

The 10th anniversary on Monday of the 921 Earthquake, one of the nation’s worst natural disasters, was a day to recall both the tragedy and the heroic rescue efforts that followed. Images run by TV and newspapers from the catastrophe that claimed more than 2,400 lives brought back the pain and fear of the days following the disaster as the extent of the death and destruction became apparent.

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Taiwan cannot retreat on freedom of speech

We approve of the decision of the Kaohsiung City government to screen the Australian made documentary "The 10 Conditions of Love" about an exiled Uighur rights activist in the face of intense pressure from the authoritarian People's Republic of China and pro-China interests at home, but deeply regret its flawed decision to separate the showings from the upcoming Kaohsiung Film Festival, scheduled for Oct. 16-29 at the Kaohsiung Film Museum.

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A premier who would back down

China has threatened to retaliate if The 10 Conditions of Love, a documentary about World Uyghur Congress president Rebiya Kadeer, is screened as part of the Kaohsiung Film Festival. Beijing has also banned a new book by Taiwanese writer Lung Ying-tai (龍應台) about the tumult of 1949, when Communist rebels defeated the Nationalist government and forced the latter to retreat to Taiwan. China may be shaping as a great power, but such behavior betrays its inability to rise above autocratic impulses.

The content of films and books and how it is transmitted are matters of freedom of expression. If China insists on putting economic pressure on Taiwan over legitimate subjects of debate, its efforts will backfire by widening the political gap between the two sides.

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‘Status quo’ is a hostile takeover

Ever since the US ended diplomatic relations with the Republic of China (ROC) and recognized the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1979, a move followed by the passage of the US’ Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) in April that year, Washington’s policy on Taiwan has consistently been that its future cannot be determined through the use of force by China.

The diplomatic relationship with Beijing, the TRA reads, “rests upon the expectation that the future of Taiwan will be determined by peaceful means [and that] any effort to determine the future of Taiwan by other than peaceful means, including by boycotts or embargoes” would be “of grave concern” to the US.

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Newsflash

On Monday, the 64th anniversary of the 228 Incident, the National 228 Memorial Museum on Nanhai Road in Taipei was officially opened to the public. It matters not whether the 228 Incident is called a rebellion or an uprising, and whether this indelible event in post-war Taiwan is seen as a scar, burn or birthmark it was a tragic beginning that changed the course of Taiwanese history.

Feb. 28 has been designated a national holiday — Peace Memorial Day — and the Presidential Office, the symbol of the highest power in the land, always flies the national flag at half-mast on that date as a sign of mourning.