Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Not Well Thought Out

Uighur dissident leader Rebiya Kadeer has arrived in Tokyo to drum up support for her people in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, almost three weeks after the riots.

China is furious that Japan granted Kadeer a visa.

In an interview with the Kyodo News Agency, Cui Tiankai, the Chinese ambassador to Japan said, "How would the people of Japan feel if a violent crime occurs in Japan and its mastermind is invited by a third country?"

He also hinted the exiled Uighur's visit could lead to tensions in Sino-Japanese relations.

"We must prevent important matters that should be worked on together from being disturbed by a criminal or attention to our common interests from being diverted," he said.

There was also uproar a few days ago when Chinese directors pulled out of the Melbourne Film Festival after it was discovered a documentary film about Kadeer, called The 10 Conditions of Love would be screened on August 8.

It's about Kadeer and her activist husband Sidik Rouzi, and the effect her campaign for more autonomy for some 10 million Uighurs in China has had on her 11 children, three of whom have jail sentences.

A representative of the Chinese government even called the organizers of Australia's largest film festival demanding that they not show the film.

However, organizer Richard Moore refused to comply with the request, even describing the cultural attache as extraordinarily ignorant, making him even more determined to show the film.

The ironic thing is that it's the Chinese government who has inadvertently shone the spotlight on Kadeer and given her so much free publicity.

Before the July 5 riots, she was not well known and hardly any people outside China knew about Uighurs and their plight.

But after the violence erupted and Beijing wanted to find someone to blame instead of taking responsibility for its policies, Kadeer was thrust into the international limelight.

The more attention the Chinese government draws to Kadeer, with Melbourne and now Tokyo, the more the outside world will be interested in her cause and become more sympathetic to Uighurs.

Talk about public relations blowback.


gung said...

on the other hand if you dont protest against such a publicity stunt it will mean china turns blind eye to the uprising.

Anonymous said...

Australia always stirs shit, always being political incorrect. Unknown Melbourne film festival is a publicity stunt, just show how pathetic Australian authority is to gain more audiences despite being injustice towards Chinese Urumqi ordinary people and victims killed by Uyghur muslim fundamental terroist group World Uyghur Congress and Rebiya Kadeer masterminded!