The Taiwanese government took a big step forward in protecting human rights when it recently denied entry to at least three human rights violators from China who were planning to visit Taiwan.
On Dec. 10, the Taiwanese newspaper the Liberty Times reported on its website that a joint task force consisting of different Taiwanese government bodies denied at least three Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials and members of their “professional exchange groups” from entering Taiwan, because they were involved with the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners inside China.
The joint task force included Taiwan’s National Immigration Agency and the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), Taiwan’s top government agency in charge of China policy. They said any CCP officials with ties to the “610 Office,” an extralegal Party organization created for the sole purpose of carrying out the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China, would not be allowed to enter Taiwan, according to the Liberty Times. Based on the information it has gathered, the Taiwan Falun Dafa Association, an organization representing local Falun Gong practitioners on the island, has submitted to the task force a list of officials who are involved in the persecution.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual discipline with meditation exercises and moral teachings based on the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. It was introduced to the public in China in 1992. The practice quickly reached a high level of popularity in China, with over 70 million practitioners, according to a state survey in 1999—though practitioners estimated the number was over 100 million. Fearing the popularity of the discipline would jeopardize the CCP’s rule, then Party leader Jiang Zemin initiated a nationwide persecution, subjecting practitioners to torture in prisons, labor camps, and brainwashing centers.
While Falun Gong practitioners in mainland China are targets of severe persecution under the CCP’s one-party rule, adherents in Taiwan are free to practice their faith. Since the Republic of China was established in Taiwan in 1949, the relationship between China and Taiwan has been frosty, as the Chinese regime regards Taiwan as a renegade province that should eventually reunite with the mainland, either voluntarily or by force.
“The move shows that Taiwan upholds human rights, and how its valuing and upholding humans rights have been put into concrete actions,” said Chiu Chui-cheng, deputy minister of MAC, in an interview with the Taiwan branch of the New York-based New Tang Dynasty Television (NTD).
“I believe every country in the world has similar practices,” Chiu added.
“We strongly approve of what the government has done,” said Theresa Chu, human rights lawyer and spokesperson for the Falun Gong Human Rights Lawyers Working Group in Taiwan, in an interview with NTD.
“We believe the government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) has, in fact, made a response to the Trump administration, [by showing] how the Global Magnitsky Act is needed everywhere in the world.”
In 2016, the U.S. Congress enacted the Global Magnitsky Act, allowing the U.S. government to impose visa bans and targeted sanctions on individuals anywhere in the world who are responsible for committing human rights violations in their respective countries.
Many Taiwanese legislators have also voiced their approval of the government’s action. Wang Ding-yu, a legislator in the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, said, “We also call on countries around the world who support democracy and human rights: don’t welcome these people,” in an interview with NTD.
“Let them know that you can persecute other people, but you will have no place to go in the world,” Wang added.
Zhu Xinxin, formerly an editor at the state-run Hebei People’s Radio Station who now resides in Taiwan, also applauded the Taiwanese government’s commitment to human rights, In an interview with NTD, Zhu said, “I believe the international community and people in China, through this incident [in Taiwan], will remember that they should track down these criminals.”
Zhu added that their crimes should be exposed publicly for the world to see.