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TAIPEI, Taiwan, March 13, 2015 /Christian Newswire
/ -- A delegation comprised of representatives from China Aid, 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative, and the Taiwan Association for China Human Rights (TACHR) met with Taiwanese leaders this week to discuss the status of human rights and religious freedom in China.
China Aid founder and President Bob Fu, China Aid Special Advisor Doug Robison, Wilberforce Initiative co-founder and President Randel Everett, Elijah Brown of the Wilberforce Initiative, Sen-Hong Yang and his wife, of the TACHR, met with Taiwanese Vice President Wu Den-Yih today. The meeting was also attended by senior officials from Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Justice.
Wu, in his meeting with the delegation, reaffirmed his personal commitment and that of the Taiwanese government to support religious freedom and human rights in China, saying that the rise of democracy, freedom, human rights and the rule of law in China is an unavoidable trend. Wu also described the importance of human rights and religious freedom in addition to having a strong economy. Wu said that China currently stands on one strong leg—being its economy; but claimed that China still needed political reform.
During the meeting, Fu presented Wu with a copy of China Aid's 2014 Persecution Report and briefed him on the arbitrary destruction and persecution of churches that occurred over the last year and the general escalation of religious persecution in China. The report, which evaluates persecution by monitoring court cases, arrests and detentions, and incidents of violence and other abuse, showed an increase in persecution of 152.74 percent compared to 2013. This increase continued a rising trend in persecution over the past eight years according to past reports by China Aid, with an average annual increase of 166.47 percent.
Robison and Everett both reiterated during the meeting the commitment and determination of American businesses, religious organizations and the United States Congress to advance religious freedom and human rights in China and throughout the world. They also encouraged Taiwan to stand with the U.S. as a beacon of freedom for Asian-Pacific countries where religious freedom is challenged by both Islamic extremists and oppressive regimes such as the Communist Party of China and North Korea.
Vice President Wu also voiced his support for an upcoming Asia Pacific Religious Freedom Forum in Taichung in December, which China Aid is organizing with TACHR.
Earlier on Wednesday, the delegation met with Wang Jin-Pyng, the Speaker of the Taiwanese Legislative Yuan, who stated that he has emphasized to Chinese officials four conditions that Taiwanese officials believe China must meet, namely China must reform its political system; match its gross domestic product (GDP) with Taiwan; accept universal human rights values; and commit to upholding religious freedom. Fu also presented Wang with a copy of China Aid's annual persecution report.
The delegation also met with other Taiwanese government leaders throughout the week, including majority and minority leaders of Taiwan's Legislative Yuan and the secretary general of Taiwan's Democratic Progressive Party.