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Uighur film to screen

KAOHSIUNG, Taiwan -- Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu yesterday said a film festival in her city will screen a documentary on Uighur independence activist Rebiya Kadeer despite speculation it is angering China.

Chen, a prominent leader in the pro-Taiwan independence camp, said the decision to screen “The 10 Conditions of Love” was made out of respect for arts, creativity and freedom of speech.

The city government will work out other measures to “save” its tourism, Chen said, in response to speculation that China tourists are boycotting Kaohsiung because of its recent connection with figures whom China considers to be separatists.

The city has come under pressure to remove the documentary from the Kaohsiung Film Festival next month after hotels in the city reported a drastic increase in cancellation of bookings from China tour groups.

Speculation has emerged that China is attempting to create a boycott of the southern port city over the film, as well as a recent visit to Kaohsiung by the Dalai Lama.

Premier Wu Den-yih, whose government advocates closer ties with China, said before Chen's announcement that he would respect Kaohsiung's decision on showing the Uighur documentary.

Wu, who has served as mayor of the southern city, said he believes Kaohsiung would be capable of handling the matter.

Cabinet spokesman Su Jun-pin said Taiwan is a sovereign country with freedom of speech, and its government will not interfere with or control the screening of a film, unless there is anything illegal with the activity.

But ruling Kuomintang (KMT) Deputy Secretary-General Chang Jung-kung, who handles the party's ties with China, warned Chen of the risks of screening the film.

He said the mayor should give top priority to the public interest of her city, and should “think carefully” if the move affects Kaohsiung's tourism.

But he maintained that the issue has nothing to do with the KMT's ties with the Chinese communists.

“We (the KMT) can't tell Kaohsiung what it can screen and what it cannot screen,” said Chang.

The pro-Taiwan independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has condemned China, claiming it is maneuvering behind the scene for the tourist boycott.

DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen said yesterday that Kaohsiung Film Festival must not give in to China's pressure.

The city's director of tourism, Lin Kun-shan, said hotels in Kaohsiung have reported a drastic increase in cancellation of bookings by China tourists.

The hotels asked the city government to avoid doing things, including holding the screening of the Uighur documentary, that could affect their business, Lin said.

Lin said the drop in tourism revenues is not unique to Kaohsiung, as other cities in Taiwan have also suffered a similar fate because of the global financial crisis and the disasters inflicted by Typhoon Morakot last month.

The film festival runs from Oct. 16 till 29, but the screening schedule for “The 10 Conditions of Love” has yet to be set.

September 20, 2009    taipei_hao@
If Kaohsiung Mayor Chen chu wishes to screen the documentary film of Kadeer "10 condition of love" for the respect of Art, Creativity, and Freedom of Speech, then let it be. That is her city. She disregarded and sacrificed the tourism business industries just for the sake of her own political gimmick. Kadeer never showed the true meaning of Love. It's Tzu Chi Master Cheng Yen and her followers who showed the True LOVE without any political purpose not only in Taiwan but also throughout the world.

Did Kadeer help the people of Taiwan like Master Cheng Yen did? Set aside politics and let the LIGHT of True Love show you the way. Don't portray Kadeer as a monument of Love.
September 21, 2009    detrchien@
There goes the DPP again....they anger the Mainland when we need them the most. Xinjiang, Tibet (Xizhang), Taiwan, are all provinces of the Republic of China.
September 22, 2009    peanuts@
The DPP looks like a banker in the casino. They are such experts in hiding a winning card. And the 2 ACE come out with 2 bingo in August and September. What is the next card for December?
September 22, 2009    ludahai_twn@
There goes the Blues again. Against freedom expression to placate dictators in Beijing.
September 22, 2009    cigars898@
taipei_hao@ wrote:
If Kaohsiung Mayor Chen chu wishes to screen the documentary film of Kadeer "10 condition of love" for the respect of Art, Creativity, and Freedom of Speech, then let it be. That is her city. She disregarded and sacrificed the tourism business industries just for the sake of her own political gimmick. Kadeer never showed the true meaning of Love. It's Tzu Chi Master Cheng Yen and her followers who showed the True LOVE without any political purpose not only in Taiwan but also throughout the world.

Did Kadeer help the people of Taiwan like Master Cheng Yen did? Set aside politics and let the LIGHT of True Love show you the way. Don't portray Kadeer as a monument of Love.
If you think giving up your freedom to appease the Chicoms is a sacrifice then so be it. What would your reaction be if the mayor wanted to show a pro-China film to promote Chinese tourism? Your entire premise is wrong. It shouldn't be up to any politician to decide what films are shown.
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