Speaking on the 24th anniversary of the Tiananmen incident, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday called on Chinese leaders to seize the current window of opportunity and create a new era for human rights.
He also urged Chinese authorities to broaden their minds to tolerate dissent.
In an article to mark the anniversary of the bloody crackdown on student protesters in 1989, Ma said several of his friends have asked him why he commemorates the June 4 event every year.
“This is because the June 4 Incident, like Taiwan’s 228 Incident, is a tragedy that resulted from the government’s improper handling of a popular protest,” Ma said.
The 228 Massacre was the brutal crackdown on an uprising against the then-authoritarian Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) regime on Feb. 28, 1947, and over the following weeks.
“Both the 228 Incident and the June 4 Incident are like mirrors, reminding the leaders on both sides of the Taiwan Strait to engage in soul-searching and learn lessons,” Ma said.
He expressed the hope that similar events would not happen again and that universal values of human rights can take root in China. Ma added that China last month issued a white paper on progress on its human rights last year.
Outsiders might still have a lot of misgivings, Ma said, “but as long as mainland authorities are willing to review their human rights issues regularly and accept outside inspections, it will be a positive development.”
Touting Taiwan’s own human rights record, Ma said that the Presidential Office had set up an advisory committee on human rights to issue reports on the implementation of two UN human rights covenants in the nation and invited 10 international human rights experts to Taiwan to review its human rights environment.
Ma said the protection of human rights has become a worldwide trend and that as long as the Chinese authorities have the will, they are capable of narrowing the gap in human rights between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait.
The Mainland Affairs Council said that China should take an open and positive approach to re-examining its crackdown on student protesters in Beijing on June 4, 1989.
Beijing needs to face up to the event and reflect on the positive impact it has brought to China’s modernization, the council said.
China stepped up efforts to counter corruption after the 18th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party in November last year, and the white paper it issued demonstrated its determination to protect human rights, the council said.
These moves seemed to match the appeals of the students who launched the protests 24 years ago, the council said, and it urged Beijing to confront the historical fact and improve the welfare of its people.
The Chinese government should do so by treating the victims of the June 4 incident well and showing sincerity in trying to heal the societal scars left by the crackdown, the council said.
‘FREEDOM WINE’: Taiwanese are empathetic of Australians, the president said, while lawmakers called on their constituents to drink Australian wine to show their support Taiwan would take action to back Australians at a time when they are “under tremendous pressure,” President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday, as tensions between Australia and China heated up. Taipei and Canberra have been mutually supportive in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in exchanging critical medical materials in the early stages, Tsai said, before chairing the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Central Standing Committee meeting in Taipei. Taiwan and Australia are like-minded nations, sharing the common values of democracy, freedom and human rights, while their economic and trade relations have also become close, she said. Canberra has been voicing support for Taiwan’s international
VIGILANCE: From tomorrow all arrivals must provide the result of a PCR test issued within three days of boarding, and the CECC asked people to report anyone who has faked their result The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) expects an increase in the number of returning travelers in the coming days, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said yesterday, adding that the varying qualities of COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test reports from other countries is a big concern. Chen, who heads the center, was speaking to the media on the sidelines of a Taiwan Foundation for Rare Disorders scholarship award ceremony in Taipei. “As the global COVID-19 situation is worsening, and with some holidays coming up, there might be an increase in the number of overseas Taiwanese returning to Taiwan,” he
CECC RULES: The autumn-winter COVID-19 prevention program, including mandatory mask wearing in eight types of public venues and indoor facilities, begins today A temporary, two-week ban on Indonesian migrant workers entering the nation is to begin on Friday, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced yesterday as it reported 24 new imported cases of COVID-19. Twenty of the new cases are Indonesian migrant workers who arrived between Nov. 11 and Friday last week, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center. The cases were discovered during a special project on Friday to conduct polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests on all 939 recently arrived Indonesian migrant workers in centralized quarantine facilities, as the majority of imported cases in the past
Passports with a redesigned cover highlighting Taiwan would be issued starting on Jan. 11, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. The new cover design, which was announced on Sept. 2, highlights Taiwan by printing the word in a larger font. While the new passport cover retains “the Republic of China” in Chinese, the English name is printed along the outer circle of the national emblem, which would enable other nations to clearly identify that it is a Taiwanese passport, not a Chinese passport, the ministry said. The costs and application procedures for the new version are the same as