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Mainland, Taiwan youth call for more exchanges to enhance understanding

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Mainland, Taiwan youth call for more exchanges to enhance understanding

2024-05-19 00:12 Last Updated At:01:27

Young people from both the Chinese mainland and Taiwan are calling for more youth exchanges and communication to enhance mutual understanding.

Hao Jiaxin and Chen Jiayong are two mainland students studying in Taiwan. Hao is a master's student while Chen is pursuing his PHD degree. Having stayed in the island for many years, they have formed close relations with their teachers and schoolmates from Taiwan.

"I noticed that many young people in Taiwan are also using social media platforms from the mainland, including Xiaohongshu and Bilibili. When talking with them, I found they actually have some understanding of mainland internet culture. Therefore, I think having common topics is the first step, and would make it easier to start in-depth communication and understanding," said Hao.

Since 2016, the number of mainland students in Taiwan like Hao and Chen has plunged.

According to data, the number of mainland students in Taiwan reached 41,975 in 2016. It plummeted to only 4,651 in 2023.

Meanwhile, an increasing number of young people from Taiwan have been welcomed to pursue studies on the Chinese mainland.

From March 27 to April 7 last year, former chairman of the Chinese Kuomintang party Ma Ying-jeou led a group of young people from Taiwan and visited Nanjing, Wuhan, Changsha, Chongqing, Shanghai and some other places.

One year later, Ma led another youth delegation from Taiwan on a 11-day tour of the mainland in April.

Wan Yu-ming was one of the students in this year's delegation. He was impressed by the rapid development and rich culture of the mainland.

"The mainland has been doing well to foster cultural soft power. We went to the Palace Museum, especially the conservation workshop. Everyone there introduced their specific working fields, and each of them is unique in its own way," he said.

Li Liang-i, another Taiwan student of this year's delegation, said the face-to-face exchanges with students from the mainland provided a chance for better mutual understanding.

"We found that we actually have something in common in the things we are interested in. For example, when we were there, many students asked us if we watched 'Blossoms Shanghai'. This TV series was very popular in Taiwan. They would also say that they watched the film 'The Pig, the Snake and the Pigeon', which was popular in the mainland. So we share many similarities in terms of food, hobbies and ways of entertainment," said Li.

Mainland, Taiwan youth call for more exchanges to enhance understanding

Mainland, Taiwan youth call for more exchanges to enhance understanding

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Israeli army may have repeatedly violated laws of war in Gaza: UN report

2024-06-20 02:18 Last Updated At:06:17

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) may have repeatedly violated fundamental principles of the laws of war in a series of prohibited indiscriminate attacks on Gaza, according to a report issued by the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Office on Wednesday.

Released during the 56th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, the report details six notable attacks targeting Gaza's residential buildings, a school, refugee camps, and a market between Oct 9 and Dec 2, 2023, which involved the suspected use of GBU-31, GBU-32 and GBU-39 bombs.

"The report details six emblematic attacks involving the suspected use of GBU-31s, or 2,000-pound bombs, GBU-32 1,000-pound bombs, and GBU-39, 250-pound bombs from the 9th of October to the 2nd of December 2023 on residential buildings, a school, refugee camps, and a market," said Jeremy Laurence, the spokesperson for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), at a press briefing in Geneva.

GBU-31, 32 and 39 bombs are mostly used to penetrate through several floors of concrete and can completely collapse tall structures. Given how densely populated the areas targeted were, the use of an explosive weapon with such wide area effects is highly likely to amount to a prohibited indiscriminate attack, the report finds.

The OHCHR has reported that at least 218 deaths have been confirmed as a direct consequence of the six attacks. However, it cautioned that the actual death toll is likely to be significantly higher.

"The report concludes that these Israeli strikes indicate that the IDF may have repeatedly violated fundamental principles of the laws of war. In this connection, it notes that unlawful targeting when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack against a civilian population, in line with a State or organizational policy, may also implicate the commission of crimes against humanity," said Laurence.

The report also says that such unlawful targeting may also implicate the commission of crimes against humanity.

"Israel's choices of methods and means of conducting hostilities in Gaza since the 7th of October, including through the extensive use of explosive weapons with wide area effects in densely populated areas, have failed to ensure that they effectively distinguish between civilians and fighters," said Laurence.

"It became very clear to us that the nature of weapons that were used, especially on a wide area, that have a wide area effect, is extremely dangerous in the context of Gaza, and we have been saying this, in several reports and statements, that Gaza is a very densely populated area. And in these six incidents, we had sufficient information to demonstrate, the civilian casualties, both in terms of the deaths as well as injuries, and where we felt that the principles of international humanitarian law, particularly precaution, distinction, proportionality, were not necessarily followed," said Ajith Sunghay, an official with the OHCHR in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

Although the report primarily focuses on Israel, it also highlights that Palestinian armed groups have continued to fire rockets indiscriminately towards Israel, inconsistent with their obligations under international humanitarian law.

Israeli army may have repeatedly violated laws of war in Gaza: UN report

Israeli army may have repeatedly violated laws of war in Gaza: UN report

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