Taipei: The Office of Tibet based in Taipei in collaboration with Taiwan-Tibetan Welfare Association organised a conference titled ‘Finding Common Ground 2021’ in Taiwan’s capital city of Taipei on Saturday, 23 October. Over sixty people including scholars, politicians, activists, and social workers took part in the conference. In addition to participants from Taiwan who attended the conference in person, other participants from the US, Germany, Australia, and India took part in the conference virtually due to the ongoing global pandemic.
The main topic of discussion at the conference was on the subject ‘Developments on the issue of Tibet, East Turkestan, Inner Mongolia, Hong Kong and Taiwan in the context of changing US-China relations’.
The welcome remarks of the conference was delivered by Tenzin Namdak, President of the Taiwan Tibetan Welfare Association. The chief guest at the conference was Freddy Lim, President of Taiwanese Parliamentary Group for Tibet. In his keynote address, the chief guest said that Tibetans have been resisting Chinese occupation for the last 70 years and has now become a role model for others. He also extended his whole hearted support to the Tibetan people and other such people and causes fighting oppression and injustice.
Wang Ting-yu, chairman of the Taiwan Parliamentary Human Rights Commission, said that the world is now waking up to the reality that China has been threatening Taiwan, and brutally oppressing and formulating policies to exterminate the Tibetans and Uyghurs. He added that this conference is a timely initiative and stressed the need for everyone to come together and unite their efforts.
Lin Ying Meng, Taipei City Councillor, in her address said that although the city council doesn’t have the powers that the foreign affairs department has, she explained that there is a Tibet support group within the city council. She also explained that an increasing number of people in the city council are supporting the Tibet cause and added that they are also trying to form a Xinjiang support group within the city council in the future.
Representative Kelsang Gyaltsen Bawa spoke on the topic of ‘Tibet in the context of developing relations between the US, China and India’. OOT Secretary Sonam Dorje spoke on the 17-point agreement between Tibet and China. Other topics that were discussed in the conference include the Tiananmen Square massacre, China under Xi Jinping, Hong Kong is the next Tibet and East Turkestan, Constitutional changes under Xi Jinping, Annihilation of Tibetan culture, etc.
Finding Common Ground is an annual conference organised by the Office of Tibet based in Taiwan since 2014.
Report filed by Office of Tibet, Taiwan