East Turkestan: Taiwanese Rocker Invites Uyghur Exile Kadeer
Below is an article published by the WSAV :
A Taiwanese rock musician and activist who supports independence from mainland China has invited exiled Uighur activist Rebiya Kadeer to visit Taiwan.
Hard rocker Freddy Lim said in a news conference with Kadeer Wednesday that he is in the process of helping her apply for a visa. The move is likely to irritate Beijing, which accuses Kadeer of inciting ethnic violence in China's west. The application could be problematic for Taiwan's government as it seeks to improve ties with Beijing.
Beijing has already issued a statement warning of unspecified "trouble" for relations after a southern Taiwanese city's scheduling of a screening of a documentary about Kadeer. Taiwan's second-largest city originally planned to screen the documentary at a film festival next month, but screened it Tuesday to end the controversy.
Several lawmakers of Taiwan's ruling Nationalist Party disagreed with the filming, fearing it might undermine President Ma Ying-jeou's program to engage China economically.
Taiwan and China split amid civil war in 1949, but their relations have warmed recently.
Lim said he reached out to Kadeer after reading about the screening controversy. He is currently in the United States on a musical tour.
Both Lim and Kadeer said they were interested in promoting cultural understanding, not in making a political point.
"I would like to introduce the true situation about my people to the Taiwanese people," Kadeer said in an interview.
Kadeer has strongly denied Chinese accusations that she was behind the ethnic violence in July in the western Xinjiang region that left nearly 200 people dead.
Lim said he expected Taiwan to allow Kadeer's visit.
"She has traveled to Japan and European countries without any problems," he said. "Taiwan is still a part of the free world."