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EDITORIAL: A naughty list or a badge of honor?

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As children in many countries start to worry about the Santa Claus list being mean and mean, it’s clear that Taiwanese and other democracy advocates in Hong Kong and the rest of China, without talk about Taiwan sovereignty, should wonder if they might end up on Uncle Xi Jinpings’ naughty list ().

Hong Kongs Ta Kung Pao reported this week that Beijing is compiling a list of those it considers separatists, including Taiwanese independence supporters, while an opinion piece in the Global Times chuckled with glee that even those who do not live in Hong Kong may have been swept away by its national security law, in which advocating secession is a crime, making them safer to travel to Hong Kong, Macau or mainland China, while traveling in other countries will also be very dangerous for them.

This list will be a sword of Damocles hanging over their heads for a long time, he added.

The latter threatens the type of extrajudicial kidnapping that saw Causeway Bay Books publisher Gui Minhai (), a naturalized Swedish citizen, leave his Thai vacation home in China, or use an Interpol red notice to seek to extradite critics such as World Uyghur. Congress Secretary General Dolkun Isa or Chinese tycoons have sought out suspected financial mischief or criticism of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

While Interpol lifted the wanted alert on Isa after protests from rights groups, it was a politically motivated attempt to extradite him despite Beijing’s claims that he has proof that he is a terrorist, such notifications may cause legal problems for those named and limit their freedom of movement.

Not everyone is ready to admit that China, Russia and others are used to using these opinions as political tools. Blind belief in the validity of Interpol’s red notices proved embarrassing for Taiwan during the administration of former President Ma Ying-jeous (), when the National Immigration Agency in July 2009 used them. one as a reason to ban Isa from entering the country even though he had not planned to travel here in a context of heightened security before the World Games in Kaohsiung.

Then-Interior Minister Jiang Yi-huah () compounded the embarrassment by continuing to insist over the next two months that Isa was a terrorist, based on classified information from the United States. ‘an ally, and that the Beijing arrest order was internationally recognized by Russia and Kazakhstan. and Kyrgyzstan.

Beijing still insists that Isa is linked to what it calls the Islamic Movement of East Turkestan, which it claims to be a terrorist organization, and that it blames for its crackdown in the Xinjiang region, however few other countries believe that such a group exists.

So it doesn’t take much imagination to think of a time when Chinese President Xi, in pursuit of his Chinese dream, might want the Progressive Democratic Party, Taiwan Statebuilding Party, New Power Party and others to declare terrorist organizations on the grounds that they promote the independence of Taiwanese from China, or that Beijing could seek the extradition of prominent Taiwanese when traveling abroad, such as President Tsai Ing-wen (), Prime Minister Su Tseng-chang () who, according to the Global Times, is already on the villain list or Independent Lawmaker Freddy Lim ().

Older Taiwanese know all too well the power these lists had during the White Terror era.

However, rather than curl up or fear traveling in a post-COVID-19 world, Taiwanese and other democracy advocates around the world should see Beijing’s inclusion on any list as a badge of honor. honor and step up the campaign to make sure other governments do it. not honoring the advice wanted by the CCP.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Comments containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. The final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

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