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50 cities in 25 countries witness protests on Chinese National Day

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NEW DELHI: China observed its 71st National day on October 1. But this year Oct 1 was marked by protests across continents and cities including North America, Europe and Asia. Protests were held in 50 cities across 25 countries.

Toronto saw a number of protests and marches against Chinese National Day. The protest marches broke out after the Chinese flag raising ceremony took place at the City Hall. The ceremony took place in absence of Toronto’s Mayor John Tory.

Following the protest marches, the flag raising scheduled to take place by the Ontario Legislative Assembly and Consul General in Toronto was also cancelled.

Around 300 protesters gathered opposite the Chinese consulate in Toronto to protest against China over several issues including COVID-19. The protesters included members of Hong Kong, Tibetan, Vietnamese, Mongolian and Taiwanese communities.

Protests broke out in UK following which the Chinese Embassy launched a formal protest. Activists from different persecuted groups in London also participated in the ‘Resist China’ campaign with night time projection onto the Parliament building with messages from Tibetan, Uyghur, and Hong Kong representatives detailing human rights abuses.

In Hong Kong too, the Chinese National Day celebrations were marked by protests across the city. The recent protests resulted in the arrests of at least 86 people on suspicion of unauthorized assembly on the streets to protest against China on its National Day.

In Hong Kong there was a protester who protested against China wearing an India flag. Ray Chang, a Hong Kong MP, tweeted, “#HongKong & #India shared a long history. Tens of thousands of #HongKongers of South Asian heritage were born here. This gentleman feels a tribute to the Indian nation is long overdue, so he honors the tricolor on China’s national day.”

Representatives from Hong Kong, Tibet, Xinjiang, Taiwan, Mongolia and Japan addressed the media at the Japanese parliament’s building on October 1, ahead of a protest demonstration outside the Chinese Embassy in Tokyo.

The representatives criticised China’s human rights violations within the country and in Hong Kong. The imposition of the Chinese language in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region was also brought up, along with the imposition of the draconian National Security Law in Hong Kong, the expansion of labour camps in Tibet and the continued crackdown in Xinjiang.

Meanwhile, scholars, activists and politicians came together to launch the ‘Global Campaign for Democratic China’ on China Day. The campaign was launched during a webinar titled “Global Campaign for Democratic China: Uniting Against Chinese Communist Party’s Repressive Regime” hosted by a New Delhi based think tank Law and Society Alliance.

The speakers at the event were — former Union Minister and MLA from Arunachal Pradesh Ninong Ering; Coordinator of Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China Luke de Pulford; Director of Department of Chinese Affairs at World Uighur Congress Ilshat Hassan Kokbore; Vice President of Canadian Coalition Against Communism Sheng Xue; Special Appointee for Human Right at The Tibet Bureau Thinlay Chukki; Gaddi Nishan of Ajmer Sharif Haji Syed Salman Chishty; Director of Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Centre Enghebatu Togochog; and National Co-Convenor of Swadeshi Jagran Manch Ashwani Mahajan.

According to Togochog, “In the 1980s, China started cultural assimilation and millions of Southern Mongolian peasants were tortured and pushed towards marginalisation. Since 2000, China has been working towards economic degradation through its large-scale farming in the region and imposing a ban on locals by restricting land use. They have enforced the entire Mongolian population from the centre to corners. Staying on grasslands is considered a crime. Herders who work on their own land get imprisoned or persecuted. China has wiped out millions of nomadic populations in the border areas.”

Ilshat Kokbore reflected on the patterns of the Uighur genocide in China and said that around one million to three million Uighurs have been kept under the concentration camps. Haji Syed Salman Chishty argued that China has indeed indulged in a series of human rights breaches and a series of acts and defiance on international borders and disrespect to the international community.

Sheng Xue said shared, “Due to my family background, I have closely observed the tyranny and persecution by the CCP in China. When I rose against the oppression, I became the enemy of this state. Those people who dissented are already in jails. I was crazy. I had to run away from China to Canada to save myself.”

Thinlay Chukki argued, “Today China is celebrating the 71st establishment of its foundation. The establishment of a country generally brings about joy to people. However, China’s establishment has led to the persecution of 1.2 million Tibetan and the destruction of 6,000 monasteries…”

Ninong Ering applauded the initiative of ‘Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China’ (IPAC), and said that such an association highlights that the world has now realised that coming together of all the democracies is indeed necessary to tackle China.

Ashwani Mahajan explained, “China had a trade surplus with 130 countries which has increased its foreign reserves and changed its power balance in the world. The economic clout China has brought is preventing democratic countries from speaking against it. It was for the first time under President Trump in the US that they challenged Chinese hegemony and stared tariff on Chinese products.”

Luke de Pulford argued, “I want to lay down a few predicates. First, the human rights order and law based orders are custody of all the nations. This is not the property of one country. Second, the defence of these is the common responsibility of all the nations, not one country. Three, the rule-based order has come under a severe threat from the CCP. The above three predicates led to the motivation of the nonpartisan initiative to maintain human rights and law-based international order. This order has been dismantled and abolished by the CCP.

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