Taiwan: On Tiananmen Anniversary, President Tells China Not to Fear Democracy
On the anniversary of the 1989 massacre of democracy protestors at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, Taiwan’s newly elected President Tsai Ing-wen has urged China to heal its wounds. She said that while she did not wish to criticise the Chinese system, she believed that China could earn more respect from its citizens if it granted them more rights. Taiwan’s legislature held a commemoration of the event for the first time this year, and law-makers there called on China to acknowledge and apologise for the massacre.
Below is an article published by Bloomberg News:
Taiwan’s newly sworn-in president urged China to heal the wounds of the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown and to cherish dissent.
Tsai Ing-wen, who has been in office for two weeks, said in a Facebook post that “as president, I don’t mean to criticize the political system on the other side of the strait. Instead, I’m willing to share, with heartfelt sincerity, Taiwan’s experience in democratization.”
Taiwan lawmakers for the first time held a commemoration in the legislature on the 27th anniversary of the crackdown, calling on China’s government to admit mistakes, identify those accountable and apologize. The Legislative Yuan advised Taiwan’s government to strengthen its monitoring of human rights-related issues in cross-strait exchanges, according to legislator Yu Mei-nu, who helped organize the commemoration on Friday. The event included representatives from Tsai’s Democratic Progressive Party and the opposition.
Tsai said while economic growth had improved the lives of people in China, there is “internal pressure for political and social transformation.” China would earn more respect if it could grant its people more rights, she said.
“Only China’s ruling party can heal the wounds of its people,” Tsai said. “My responsibility is to safeguard the democracy and freedom of Taiwanese people, to build peaceful, stable, consistent and predictable cross-strait relations.”
“I hope both sides will share same view about democracy and human rights some day in the future,”Tsai said.