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Taiwan: Support for Tibet

Categories: East Asia, China, Hong Kong (China), Taiwan (ROC), Human Rights, Protest

For Tibetan independence movement, most Taiwanese support and sympathize Tibetans, and many people changed their twitter profile figure to the flag of Tibet [1] which represents Tibetan independence movement.

‘Free Tibet’ (Photo courtesy of skydaughter [2].)

Many artists, writers, musicians, and social movement participants held ‘Bringing love to Tibet’ [3] to pray for Tibetans:


Young volunteers from Taiwan have worked overseas wherever help is needed. Now Tibet is violently oppressed by China, and these young Taiwanese identify ourselves with the Tibetans. We decided to support Tibetans, by our music and poems.

Compared to other countries, Tibetan independence movement has a very special meaning for Taiwan. Most of the discussions are based on empathy, because Taiwan and Tibet are both threatened and manipulated by China. Terry [4] said,


I am afraid of this country (China) due to its past records of cruelty. When I was in high school, there was Tiananmen Square protests [5]. A lot of evidence shows that there was military oppression in Tiananmen square, and many people were killed. Facing this neighbor with blood in its hand, I am afraid and alert.


Many people said that we should not put restrains on ourselves and give up the opportunity of prosperity by doing business with this neighbor since we have the niche of using the same language. However, if the opportunity of prosperity comes with oppression and loss of democracy and freedom, I will choose to be conservative. Living a poor life is all right, if I can speak, breath, and live happily and freely.

Some people reflected Taiwan's history and compared its own oppressed past with Tibetan independence movement. Judie [6] said, Tibetans are in their 228 Massacre [7].


Tibetans are experiencing their 228 Massacre, making a difficult stand against the foreign ruler.[…] Their independence movement is misunderstood and slandered. The blood from these innocent people keeps running and the hurt is deepened.

Many people criticized the mass media in Taiwan. Jas [8] took blocking the news about Tibet for example and said, because the sources and gatekeepers are different, this independence movement is reported differently.


(China) said there were only ‘a few’ people joining Tiananmen Square protests [5] and there are only ‘a few’ people supporting the independence of Taiwan, and now they referred to the oppressed Tibetans as ‘a few’ again.

Tucci [9] in Germany compared the news about Tibet in Taiwan and Germany, and said the news is obviously less in Taiwan than in Germany.


A country that uses its military to kill the protesters is depreciating and ruining human right.[…] I think this independence movement will be as important as Tiananmen Square protests [5]. However, I am sorry to see the major media in Taiwan did not take it seriously, which is very different from how German media treats it.

Sindia [10] in Beijing talked about the information blockage in China.


Some people asked me how people in Beijing view this Tibetan independence movement. Under this condition, most people in Beijing don't know what happens in Tibet. If some of them know, they only know that some Tibetans evoked violence and hurt innocent Han people, and Dalai Lama have orchestrated it to ruin the Olympic Games in Beijing and for their independence. This is what mass media in China said. In this condition, what do you think people in Beijing can comment?

Although China government blocks the information, due to the advance of technology, some people in China tries to use instant messanger and twitter to see people's comment about the protest in Tibet, even though they are confused or unhappy. A message in zola [11] may show some people's opinions:


What Tibet needs is healthy development, protecting their culture, and solving political issues peacefully. For whoever says we should kill and oppress, if you have Tibetan friends, you will not say so any more.

Annpo [12] asked Chinese friends through twitter, and one of them who worked in Tibet said:


The life condition in Tibet does improve a lot. We can see life in Tibet is better now compared to its neighbors. However, […] can we satisfy people only by making their life better? […] The government provides free education, but the textbooks are Han's textbooks. […] Not all Tibetans support the Qinghai-Tibet Railway [13]. When Lhasa becomes prosperous, my Tibetan friends keep moving out. Can't these observations explain the problem in Tibet?

There are other people caring about Tibet. Reiw in Hong Kong made a detail analysis [14] and zola shared the summary of the news [15]. Chao-Chen Lin, a reporter interviewing Dalai Lama and many Tibetans before, explained [16] the problem of Tibet is due to the failure of conversation between Dalai Lama and Chinese government, and the development brought by China government that destroys their culture.

Acknowledgment: Annpo [17] wrote this article, and I-Fan edited and translated it into English.