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China's Intolerance Towards Taiwan Grows Stronger

18 October 2001

China's Intolerance Towards Taiwan Grows Stronger

United Future leader, Hon Peter Dunne, says the European Union's decision to cave into Chinese pressure and refuse Taiwan's top five leaders the right to visit the European Union in even a private capacity is a massive assault on the rights of people to free association.

"The immediate upshot is that President Chen Shui-bian of Taiwan, the recipient of Liberal International's 2001 Freedom Prize, will not even be able to travel to Europe to receive his award because of Chinese bullying of the European Union."

"It is a clear signal that China's intolerance of Taiwan's existence is growing ever stronger," Mr Dunne says.

Mr Dunne accuses China of taking advantage of the current fragile international situation to take a harder line against Taiwan.

"The world is properly focussed on fighting terrorism and its assault on freedom, and I think it is disgraceful that China should take advantage of nations' understandable preoccupation with that important challenge to tighten the screws on Taiwan and those that are friendly with Taiwan."

"It is their own form of terrorism, and the nations of the world who cherish freedom should be emphatic in their rejection of China's continued bullying."

"Freedom and democracy are absolutes, and should be upheld wherever possible, not on a selective basis." "By caving in to China so limply, the leaders of the European Union have severely tarnished their reputations as upholders of freedom and democracy," Mr Dunne says.

Ends

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