How the west enables a tyrannical regime in China: a Uyghur exile speaks freely in Taiwan

“China has successfully managed to use its market and its people as a hostage to blackmail the world,” Wu’er Kaixi, an ethnic Uyghur activist who took part in the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, said at a Snowball Community event recently hosted in Taipei.

“One of the reasons the Chinese regime has been able to play that game is that the world let them,” Wu’er Kaixi said, adding that this was the message he has been repeating for the last 30 years while living in exile and speaking to the west: “You guys enable China.”

Tiananmen square protests 1989.
What’s in a name? Örkesh Dölet (Uighur: ئۆركەش دۆلەت; alternatively transliterated Uerkesh Davlet), commonly known as Wu’erkaixi from the pinyin transliteration of his Chinese name, 吾爾開希, is seen at the Tiananmen Protests, 1989.

Wu’er Kaixi, who lives in Taiwan, pointed out that following the Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989, what immediately followed was the fall of the Eastern Bloc, and the end of the Cold War.

Wu’er Kaixi posited that the Chinese students fighting for democracy in Beijing in 1989 were pioneers of that campaign. While the Chinese students did not win their own battle, the main campaign was a victory for the alliance of freedom and democracy.

“But we were the ones who payed the price/were sacrificed,” Wu’er Kaixi argued.

“While you would think that after winning the Cold War, the United States’ led western front should bring justice for those who made the most sacrifices – the Chinese students, the Chinese people; the United States decided to cut the slack to the Chinese regime.”

“What has followed is 30 years of what I call an ‘appeasement policy,'” Wu’er Kaixi said.

Wu’er Kaixi’s reference to an appeasement policy may be inferred to point to policy errors made by leaders in the west as Adolf Hitler asserted a series of territorial claims based on ethnicity, race, and historicity in the lead up to World War II.

But who knows? CNN and the BBC certainly aren’t talking about it. Maybe money is more important than conscience, or they are being distracted by something…

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