Taiwan Feels Heat Over Uighur Film
In the latest example of the Chinese government trying (and sometimes succeeding) in imposing censorship over cultural events overseas, the Taiwanese city of Kaohsiung has rescheduled a showing of The Ten Conditions of Love, a documentary about Uighur activist Rebiya Kadeer. The film became a hot ticket in Australia after Chinese officials asked the Melbourne Film Festival not to show it. The Wall Street Journal reports on this latest controversy over the film in Taiwan:
The decision is unlikely to end controversy over a case in which China appears to have used its growing economic clout in Taiwan to influence the island’s free-wheeling cultural scene. China “resolutely opposes” the showing of the film, the state-run Xinhua news agency said Sunday. It quoted a spokesman from China’s Taiwan Affairs Office as urging “concerned parties” in Kaohsiung “not to stir up troubles on cross-straits relations.”
Kaohsiung’s tourism industry also isn’t happy that the film will be screened. “It is regretful that the city government is still showing the movie,” said Tseng Fu-hsing, chairman of the Kaohsiung Tourism Association, who had urged the city not to include the film on the festival program.
He said the industry has come to rely on Chinese tourists during the economic downturn and that as many as 20%, or several thousand, reservations from the mainland may be affected. “We now hope the Chinese government doesn’t do anything to hurt us. We did our best. We really have nothing to do with the event,” Mr. Tseng said.
Read also about China’s efforts to ban dissident writers from the Frankfurt Book Fair, via CDT.