Taiwan ‘must follow its own security policies’

Taipei Times, 28 April 2013

World Uyghur Congress (WUC) spokesman Dilshat Rexit yesterday protested National Security Bureau Director Tsai Der-sheng’s (蔡得勝) remarks hinting that Uighur activists are terrorists, urging that Taiwan, as a sovereign country, should have its own national security policies, instead of following those of Beijing.

“I didn’t really expect that I would be allowed into Taiwan, so before I departed, I contacted some human rights organizations such as Amnesty International and asked them to help once I was denied entry,” Dilshat, now a Swedish citizen, told a news conference held in Taipei after his arrival.

“Taiwan is a country on its own, you elect your own president, so I never understand why you always have to follow Beijing’s policies,” he said.

Dilshat was referring to a remark by Tsai during a legislative meeting that two terrorist suspects were denied entry in 2009 ahead of the World Games.

Although Tsai did not say who the two suspects were, one of the foreign nationals denied entry ahead of the games was WUC secretary-general Dulkun Isa.

“The accusation was baseless and politically motivated, because no other country in the world — except China — calls Uighurs terrorists,” Dilshat said. “The objectives of the Uighurs are very clear — politically, economically and culturally, we want to be on our own. Environmentally, we don’t want our homeland to be damaged.”

He said that China’s rule over Uighurs is effectively colonial rule and the struggle of the Uighurs is resistance against Chinese colonialism.

“Our struggle is not terrorism, not a single Uighur supports terrorism,” he said.

Yiong Cong-ziin (楊長鎮), one of the co-founders of Taiwan Friends of Uyghurs, agreed.

“Taiwan apparently does not have its own national security,” Yiong said. “As we can all see, [WUC President] Rebiya Kadeer and the Dalai Lama are welcome in most countries around the world, but President Ma Ying-jeou [馬英九] declined to allow them into Taiwan. In my opinion, Taiwan following China’s national security measures is the deepest security threat to this country.”

Dilshat called on the Taiwanese government to take action to support the democracy movement in China.

“China is causing threats to most of its neighbors, including Taiwan and Japan, and only when China becomes a democracy with rule of law can there be stability in the region and can Taiwan be secure,” he said.