Kaohsiung set to screen 'Ten Conditions'

Uighur documentary initiated protests at Melbourne festival

HONG KONG -- The Kaohsiung Film Festival in Taiwan's second city is to screen controversial Australian documentary "Ten Conditions of Love," about exiled Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer.

The screening in Melbourne of the film, directed by Australia's Jeff Daniels, last month caused a minor diplomatic incident between China and Australia and the withdrawal of six Chinese-language films from the festival.

"We selected Kadeer's film because it fits one of this year's themes -- 'people power.' Our goal is to promote arts and culture, we hope people will not see it from a political angle," said Liu Hsiu-ying, director of the Kaohsiung Film Archive.

However the selection of the film in Taiwan risks a greater backlash than even the Melbourne screenings. The lethal unrest of two months ago in China's northwestern Xinjiang region, which Beijing blamed on "splittist" Uighur factions, has flared up again in recent days. This has resulted in a wave of stabbings, five more deaths and the firing by Beijing of two of its senior officials in the region.

Moreover, China regards Taiwan as a rebel province that will be brought to heel by force if necessary. Political relations between Taiwan and China have thawed in the past year with the appointment of President Mah Ying-jeou. But they were severely strained by last week's visit to Taipei by the Dalai Lama, the Buddhist religious leader who Beijing also accuses of trying to undermine China's sovereignty.

Liu said there were no currently plans to invite Kadeer to the festival, which will screen a total of 70 local and foreign films.