Activists from Tibet, Taiwan and Hong Kong met in Taiwan’s capital Taipei for their first conference Freedom, Democracy and Right to Self-Determination. The conference, which took place from April 7 – 9, was attended by around 30 activists.
The conference was aimed at forming a strong alliance and coordination within the activist communities of Tibet, Taiwan and Hong Kong, and to develop a long-term vision among the movements to strive for human rights, freedom, democracy and the right to self-determination.
“Given the political changes taking place in China and new threats and opportunities arising amid changing geopolitical circumstances, we believe it is critical for leaders of different movements to join forces and build a united alliance against a common threat – the CCP (Chinese Communist Party)”, said Dorjee Tseten, SFT Asia Director.
A joint statement posted on the Students for a Free Tibet website announced that the conference recognises Tibet as historically independent. The announcement also stated that the conference recognises the Tibetan government-in-exile as the legitimate representative of six million Tibetans and supports the Tibetan people and their struggle for a free Tibet. In addition, it recognises 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. Conference members called on the international community to counter China’s assault on human rights and democracy and to support the people of Tibet, Hong Kong and Taiwan in their pursuit of their rights.
“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,” said Dorjee Tseten on STF’s website.
Tenzin Tsundue, the activist followed up on the conference with a short speaking tour in Taiwan.
The conference was jointly organised by Students for a Free Tibet and the Human Rights Network for Tibet and Taiwan. Tibetan Youth Congress President Tenzin Jigme, Students for a Free Tibet (SFT) Director Pema Yoko, the activist Tenzin Tsundue, Hong Kong Democracy Activist Hang Tung Chow, Lin Hsin from Human Rights Network for Tibet and Taiwan and Taiwanese legislator and activist Freddy Lim attended the conference.