Wed, Jul 01, 2009 - Page 8 News List

Human rights in cross-strait ties

By Hong Chi-chang 洪奇昌

Taiwan has a Constitution that guarantees human rights, freedom, democracy and the rule of law.

We also have many culturally creative people, and people with brave and daring ideas. In engaging China, we should be confident and proud of these things, and the government should draw a line it is not willing to go beyond.

The Chinese who drafted and co-signed Charter 08 include non-governmental elites and prominent spiritual leaders who represent a rational and passionate voice for freedom, democracy and human rights and the hope that the government of China, not just its infrastructure, can modernize.

Hsu Szu-chien (徐斯儉), an assistant research fellow at the Preparatory Office of the Institute of Political Science at Academia Sinica, recently said that if the ideals of the pan-green camp can one day be embraced by the more advanced and forward-looking members of Chinese society, the pan-green camp would then be able to directly influence every aspect of cross-strait relations.

Everything must be taken step by step. I do not just hope that the 23 million Taiwanese will continue to progress, but also that one day the 1.3 billion Chinese will be able to enjoy democracy, freedom and human rights.

Hong Chi-chang is a former chairman of the Straits Exchange Foundation and a former DPP legislator.

TRANSLATED BY DREW CAMERON

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