March 8, 2007
Many silenced by China’s money

by Kenton Chance In Taipei, Taiwan 08.MAR.07

The world should “bark” at the government of China for its human rights violation and its attitude towards Taiwan but China’s money and “cheap” goods have silenced many.

This was the essence of Noble Laureate Betty Williams’s comments when asked by a Taiwanese her opinion on the China-Taiwan cross straits issue.

Williams, along with Mairead Corrigan Maguire, was in 1976 awarded the Prize for her work to bring peace to her native Northern Ireland. {{more}}

“You have to separate Chinese people from their government…. The Chinese administration is brutal,” Williams said during the interactive session of an event at the National ChencgChi University where Williams spoke on “the Politics of Non-Violence” on March 2.

“Human rights watch will tell you that they (the Chinese administration) have the worst human rights violation in the world. Yet everybody wants to do business with them – money, money, money; and the Chinese have got plenty of it – tons of it,” she said.

Williams said that the Taiwanese people suffer the “insults” of President Chen Shui Bian having to take ridiculous detours while on official trips overseas because the Chinese government’s complaints result in countries refusing Chen’s entourage permission to fly through their airspace.

Williams went on to say that while the Western world consumes China’s cheap goods many young persons outside of China are being denied a job because a lot of the goods made in China are produce with “cheap labour.”

“And a lot of it is forced labour,” Williams continue adding, “No body is barking at the Chinese because everybody wants to do business with them.”

She further said, “The rest of the world should be screaming at that but no, no, no; they want the cheap goods, especially the Unites States of America because it is a completely consumer society.”

China has considered Taiwan part of its territory awaiting reunification since the Nationalist government fled to the island in 1949. About two years ago, China paased a law allowing Beijin to use military force against Taiwan if she declares independence.

Williams said she had thought that China had 600 missile pointed at Taiwan but learned from President Chen that the number was actually 950.

“Don’t you think that’s overkill? I think that it is time that people get up worldwide and objected to this and stop wanting the cheap goods. If you buy the goods, then you are feeding China, you are feeding that regime,” Williams said.

She said things will not change until the nations of the world say “the Chinese are going too far here.”

“I think we have to make the world aware … We know what the Chinese can do. We are creating a huge super power – massive.”

Taiwan’s diplomatic support comes from mainly small or developing nations in Africa, Central and South America and the Caribbean where St Vinent and the Grenadines, St Kitts and Nevis, Haiti and the Dominican Republic recognise the government in Taipei.