Indonesia: The Damaging Debate on Rapes of Ethnic Chinese Women

Reports that ethnic Chinese women were raped during riots in Jakarta in mid-May have generated an outpouring of rage from around the world and a furious debate inside Indonesia. Legislators in Taiwan and Hong Kong have threatened cut-offs of aid and expulsions of Indonesian migrant workers. Officials in Beijing have abandoned their stance that human rights questions are a domestic concern and have publicly and repeatedly condemned the rapes. U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright raised the issue with the Indonesian finance minister in July.(1) Numerous websites have sprung up on the Internet to campaign against the rapes and demand international action.

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