Uighur film to show in Taiwan, testing China

Uighur film to show in Taiwan, testing China

TAIPEI, Sept 20 — Taiwan’s second-largest city said today it would show a film about Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer despite concerns it would upset China, which is already fuming about the Dalai Lama’s recent visit to the island.

The documentary, The 10 Conditions of Love, will screen four times the day after tomorrow and a day after ahead of an annual film festival in Kaohsiung, a southern Taiwan port city whose mayor Chen Chu is backed by Taiwan’s anti-China opposition party.

“To draw the curtains over this controversy as soon as possible, the film will be screened ahead of schedule,” the city said in a statement.

Chinese officials say that Kadeer, a former businesswoman who now leads exile group the World Uyghur Congress, orchestrated ethnic violence in July in Xinjiang, a largely ethnic Uighur region of northwest China, killing about 200 people.

She denies the allegation.

The Chinese government agency in charge of Taiwan affairs denounced the film last week.

China has claimed sovereignty over self-ruled Taiwan since 1949, when Mao Zedong’s forces won the Chinese civil war and Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalists fled to the island. But the two sides have worked since mid-2008 to improve relations.

A furore erupted in Australia earlier this year when Chinese embassy staff pressed unsuccessfully for the same documentary to be removed from the country’s biggest film festival in Melbourne, prompting an angry public backlash and higher audience numbers. Kaohsiung and several opposition-led Taiwan counties irked Beijing this month when they invited the Dalai Lama to pray for victims of typhoon Morakot, which killed up to 770 people, mostly in mudslides.

Beijing sees the Tibetan spiritual leader as a separatist. — Reuters. Malaysian Insider

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