Chinese journalist Zhao Sile writes thank-you letter to Taiwan

Help from Taiwan made it possible for her to study in the U.S.

Chinese writer Zhao Sile (photo from her Facebook page).

Chinese writer Zhao Sile (photo from her Facebook page).

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - Chinese journalist and women’s rights activist Zhao Sile (趙思樂) has written an open letter thanking Taiwan for making her studies in the United States possible.

Zhao, 27, who gained fame as an activist for women’s rights and by writing books about Chinese NGOs, is studying at Georgetown University.

She recently blogged that if it hadn’t been for a stint in Taiwan working as a reporter, she would never have been able to move on to study in the U.S.

When Zhao and her husband were worried about being persecuted in China and were already drawing police attention, she met a professor from Taiwan who advised the couple to move to the island as a refuge for a while, Sanlih E-Television reported.

“This was the first present Taiwan gave us which influenced our lives,” Zhao was quoted as saying.

The second present was the occasion to write and publish a Chinese-language book, and “the third help from this free society” was the assistance of two Taiwanese professors to help her apply for a U.S. scholarship.

As her stay in Taiwan was running to its end, she was concerned she would be arrested upon her return to China, especially since her book had been banned there, Sanlih reported. However, once again, a Taiwanese professor stepped in to help, with the country functioning as a safe middle zone, Zhao wrote.

While she still worries she will have to pay a price when she returns to China after her studies in Georgetown, the woman activist felt lucky she had been given a chance to seek knowledge in a free environment.

“Taiwan’s existence cannot be missed,” Zhao concluded, expressing the hope that other young Chinese protesters would receive the same kind of assistance and goodwill she had.