By Lobsang Tenchoe
DHARAMSALA, April 10: To form a stronger alliance and coordination within the activist communities of Tibet, Hong Kong and Taiwan to develop a long-term vision among the movements to strive for human rights, freedom, democracy, and the right to self-determination, Tibet, Hong Kong and Taiwan held its first round table conference in Taipei, the capital city of Taiwan.
Students for a Free Tibet, with the support of Human Rights Network for Tibet and Taiwan convened the conference.
Activists and youth leaders of Tibet, Hong Kong and Taiwan met for the first round table conference from April 7 -9. According to a joint statement released by the organizers, the participants have recognized Tibet as a historically independent nation occupied by the Chinese government, Hong Kong’s right to self-determination and self-governance and Taiwan as a democratic nation whose security and sovereignty is being threatened by China’s imperialist ambitions.
The conference also honored the efforts and sacrifices of people within China who call for democracy and freedom, and expressed their solidarity with them.
The conference has further expressed its support for the Tibetan people in their struggle for a free Tibet and made a case of Taiwan rightfully deserving a seat at the United Nations alongside other countries.
In solidarity with all the people who were persecuted for seeking freedom and democracy, appeals were also made at the conference for the immediate release of Taiwanese human rights activist Li Ming-Che, Chinese activists Su Changlan and Chen Qitang and Tibetan language rights activist Tashi Wangchuk.
“In spite of the intensifying repression continuing under Xi Jinping’s regime, the conference recognizes that new waves of youth movements such as the Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong, the Sunflower Movement in Taiwan, and the 2008 Uprising and subsequent movements in Tibet have activated the political consciousness of a new generation and emboldened them to pursue freedom,” the statement read.
The maiden round table conference has appealed to the international community to counter China’s assault on human rights and democracy, and support the people of Tibet, Hong Kong and Taiwan in their struggles.
A total of 30 prominent Tibetan, Hong Konger and Taiwanese activists and youth leaders attended the conference with an objective to build a strategic alliance for freedom, democracy, and right to self-determination.