China Demands Film Be Withdrawn From Australian Festival
The Chinese government has attempted to halt the screening of a documentary at the Melbourne International Film Festival about exiled businesswoman Rebiya Kadeer, a leader of a Uighur separatist movement in China. At a news conference today (Thursday) a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said, "We resolutely oppose any foreign country providing a platform for [Kadeer's] anti-Chinese, splittist activities." On Wednesday, Richard Moore, the executive director of the festival, said that he had had "a strident conversation" with Chunmei Chen, the attaché at the Chinese consulate in Melbourne. Moore told Britain's Guardian newspaper, "Ms Chen urged me to withdraw the film from the festival and told me I had to justify my actions in programming it. I told her that under no circumstances would I withdraw the film, that I had no reason to do so."