As the Co-Chairs of the British-Taiwanese All-Party Parliamentary Group, we have for many years supported Taiwan’s remarkable achievements in human rights, democracy and the rule of law. A beacon for freedom and democracy in Asia, Taiwan enjoys freedom of speech, press, assembly, religion, political participation, the rule of law as well as same-sex marriage, and serves as a model for China’s social reform and democratic development.
However, we are alarmed by the rapid and significant deterioration of human rights, political reform, freedom of religion and expression in China. The Chinese authorities have tightened control over citizens by imprisoning millions of Uighurs in labour camps, suppressing religious groups including Muslims, Catholics and Falung Gong followers, and detaining dissidents such as prominent human rights lawyers and religious figures. Hong Kong, where over a million people have recently taken to the streets to protest against the proposed extradition bill, serves as another warning of China’s constant attempt to interfere and suppress freedom and democracy.
China’s aggressive actions toward other countries internationally and increasing repression of its own people domestically pose a serious threat not only to Taiwan and its Asian neighbours, but also other democracies around the world. We believe that now more than ever, it is imperative for the UK and other likeminded countries to take actions to uphold the democratic values and ideals we share and cherish.
Posted on 13 June 2019