Wed, Jul 08, 2009 - Page 1 News List

DPP condemns use of force, Ma stays silent

By Rich Chang and Jenny W. hsu  /  STAFF REPORTERS

The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday issued a statement condemning Beijing for using force on protesters in Xinjiang and called on President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) to follow suit.

The DPP also called on the Ma administration to discuss democracy and human rights in cross-strait talks and make them prerequisites for improving relations with China.

The party said Uighurs have been slaughtered for protesting China’s rule in Xinjiang.

The DPP said Beijing must face the incident honestly, be transparent, compensate victims immediately and release those arrested.

Beijing must value democracy, freedom and human rights as China integrates economically into international society, the party said.

The DPP said that to push economic relations with China, the Ma government had turned a blind eye to human rights abuses.

The Ma government had led the world to believe Taiwan stands with China over its violations of human rights, while Taiwan’s democracy and human rights were being jeopardized, the party said.

According to DPP Legislator Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃), Ma said in a statement to mark the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre that China deserved praise for its progress on human rights. With Beijing launching another brutal crackdown in Xinjiang, she said Ma should apologize for this.

Presidential Office Spokesman Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) declined to comment on the DPP’s request that Ma condemn China.

In response to the DPP’s call for the Ma administration to include human rights issues in cross-strait negotiations, Wang said the issue would be handled by the Mainland Affairs Council.

Mainland Affairs Council spokesman Liu Te-hsun (劉德勳) urged all sides in Xinjiang to settle their differences peacefully.

Liu said the MAC had commissioned the Straits Exchange Foundation to ascertain the security of Taiwanese businessmen in the region. So far, all are safe.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) spokesman Lee Chien-jung (李建榮) yesterday called on China to handle the incident with care.

“We are not happy to see unrest in any region and we hope the incident will be settled soon,” he said.

He also urged the government to ensure the safety of Taiwanese visitors in the region.

Meanwhile, Uighur human rights activist and dissident Wuer Kaixi (吾爾開希) said yesterday the crackdown on Uighurs reflected unresolved friction between Han Chinese and Uighurs.

Speaking in Taipei, Wuer Kaixi strongly condemned Beijing’s use of force and said China was probably concealing the true death toll.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY MO YAN-CHIH

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