Jun 05, 2014

Taiwan: China Should Turn Memory Of Tiananmen Into Opportunity For Reform

Taiwanese officials urge China to learn a lesson from the 1989 tragedy of the Tiananmen massacre, by turning this ‘historic scar’ into an opportunity to engage in genuine human and civil rights reforms that would benefit the people. They also urge China to fully recognize the diversity of its population and favor dialogue instead of violence to deal with differing views.

Below is an article published by Focus Taiwan:

Tawan urged China to think hard about the significance of the Tiananmen massacre of June 4, 1989 and try to turn the "historic scar" into energy for pushing forward real reforms of the country's political and social systems.

The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) made the call in a statement issued on the eve of the 25th anniversary of the massacre in Beijing.

Civic groups in Taiwan are planning to mark the occasion and to call on China to improve its human rights record.

In its statement, the MAC said that this part of history will not be forgotten and that Beijing has no other recourse but to "face it squarely" in order to heal the wounds in the minds of those affected.

The MAC said it hopes China will deal with that part of history well so that it can gain new momentum to transform itself and move on.

China has repeatedly pledged to deepen its reforms, the MAC said, adding that China should learn a lesson from history and push forward reform programs that will really benefit the people.

If it wants to be seen as a government "brave enough to shoulder its responsibilities and sincere enough to seek reconciliation," the MAC said the Chinese government should treat the victims and their families well.

It also urged China to respect and tolerate the "diverse views" of the general public and to protect the human rights of dissidents and rights activists.

By doing so, it added, China would be honoring its commitments as pledged in its own White Paper on human rights. "This is also a good way of improving people's civil rights and creating a better political and social environment," the MAC said.

It said that improving the wellbeing of the people is a "core value" and a "common objective" of Taiwan and China in developing relations across the Taiwan Strait.

Over the past six years since President Ma Ying-jeou took office, the MAC said, the protection of personal safety and humanitarian concerns for the grassroots have been at the center of cross-strait dialogue and negotiations.

The goal of cross-strait exchanges has been to highlight the universal values of democracy, freedom, human rights and rule of law, the MAC said.

It said Taiwan would like to share its development experience with China at this important juncture of history so that both sides can grow stronger simultaneously and realize the vision of "putting the people at the center of all policies."