No holds barred: Nancy Pelosi to meet Tiananmen student leader living in exile in Taiwan

New Delhi : The first woman US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has long been considered a China-baiter, having called into question China's d...

New Delhi: The first woman US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has long been considered a China-baiter, having called into question China's dismal record in terms of human rights violations and she will not let go of her visit to Taiwan without underlining the same, more so now that China has made threat after threat. Reports suggest Pelosi is scheduled to meet three prominent human rights activists in Taipei who suffered at the hands of China, later today.

Pelosi will reportedly meet Tiananmen student leader Wu'erkaixi, who has been living in Taiwan in exile, at the famous Jingmei Human Rights Park in Taipei, apart from Lam Wing-kee, the owner of the Causeway Bay Bookstore and activist Lee Ming-che. Raking up the Tiananmen Square incident is indubitably expected to irk China even more.

Experts opine that Pelosi’s meeting with these human rights activists assumes huge significance as it underlines Taiwan's political history and cultural context, which is going to dispel detractors from pointing out that Taiwan has so far been just used as a pawn in great power politics.

Pelosi's visit to the Human Rights Park, in this context, becomes a powerful symbol of recognition of Taiwan’s own political past and the history of struggle for human rights and democracy. The building used to serve as a military school between 1957 and 1967 and later housed military courts and a detention center called the Jingmei Military Detention Center for political dissidents. In 1991, the center was closed.

In 2007, the center was turned into a human rights memorial and museum featuring Taiwan's democracy movement. In early April 2009, the Council for Cultural Affairs changed the name of the site to Jing-Mei Human Rights Memorial and Cultural Park.

Lam Wing-kee was one of five booksellers from Hong Kong, who were detained in 2015 for selling material critical of the political elite on China's mainland. He had to flee Hong Kong for the fear of incarceration to Taiwan in 2019.

He re-opened his bookshop as a symbol of democracy and freedom in Taiwan.

Taiwan activist Lee Ming-che is yet another human rights voice who suffered at the hands of China. He could return to return to Taipei only after serving five years in China’s Chishan prison on charges of subversion. His disappearance in early 2017 and subsequent incarceration had been a reminder of Lam Wing-kee's case.

Meanwhile, according to Voa News, Pelosi has used her long career to criticize Beijing for what she sees as a poor record on human rights and democracy.

As a junior congresswoman, only two years into her career, she was outspoken about the 4 June, 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown on pro-democracy activists in Beijing.

She called it a shocking "massacre" and accused Chinese security services of conducting "secret executions."

"The human rights of the people in China are not an internal matter. They are of concern to people all over the world," she declared.

Pelosi has frequently irked Beijing's leadership since then, meeting with political and religious dissidents as well as the Dalai Lama and labelling the treatment of Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang area "genocide."

She travelled to China with two other members of Congress on an official invitation two years after the Tiananmen Square crackdown.

She irritated her hosts by going to Tiananmen Square and planting flowers at a martyrs' memorial with a placard that read: "To those who perished for democracy in China."

She told reporters after Chinese police temporarily held the American legislators: "We've been told for two days now that there is freedom of speech in China. This does not conform to what we were told."

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India World News: No holds barred: Nancy Pelosi to meet Tiananmen student leader living in exile in Taiwan
No holds barred: Nancy Pelosi to meet Tiananmen student leader living in exile in Taiwan
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