Advocates yesterday called on Taiwanese, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) in particular, to show strong support for China’s democratization on the eve of the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre, saying that China’s democratic movement will be crucial to Taiwan’s future.
“No democratic country in the world would stand on the sidelines as its neighbors abuse human rights. In the case of Taiwan, China’s democratization matters for Taiwan’s future,” Association of Taiwan Students’ Promotion of Chinese Democratization director Henry Kwok (郭豫謙) told a press conference in Taipei.
Kwok’s association is among dozens of co-organizers, mostly civic groups, of a rally and a candlelight vigil to be held tonight at Liberty Square in Taipei to commemorate the massacre of Chinese democracy protesters in 1989.
Photo: Chang Chia-ming, Taipei Times
As Ma’s position on the massacre, which remains a taboo subject in China, would be symbolic, Kwok said the organizers have invited Ma to attend the evening rally to express Taiwan’s firm support of the Chinese people’s fight for democracy.
However, Ma, who used to express strong vocal support for Chinese democracy, has been a disappointment since taking office in 2008, Taiwan Association for China Human Rights chairman Yang Hsien-hung (楊憲宏) said.
In an interview with the Chinese-language China Times published in 2005, Ma said that if he were elected president, he would conduct no cross-strait negotiations before Beijing redresses its mishandling of the incident and pledged that he would support Chinese dissidents and Falung Gong, Yang said, adding that Ma’s annual statement for the anniversary of the tragedy has been less critical of Beijing in recent years.
“He is a liar. Everyone can see that now,” Yang said.
“A democratized China would most likely benefit Taiwan and increase Taiwanese people’s sense of security, especially when we have witnessed democracy in Taiwan backsliding due to China’s influence on almost every front — media, economy and culture … you name it,” National Chengchi University professor Anthony Yeh (葉浩) said.
New School for Democracy representative Wang Hsing-chung (王興中) raised concerns about Beijing’s recent crackdown against anyone who promoted democracy and discussed the massacre.
Wang said that at least 82 people across China have been questioned by authorities and at least 40 of them have been either detained or prosecuted.
“I would say that if we do not support democratic movement in Hong Kong and China, Taiwan could be the next victim of China’s authoritarianism,” Wang said.
In an effort to support China’s democratic movement, Wang said the New School for Democracy plans to establish a human rights lawyer group and a volunteer group for Chinese political prisoners.
Wang Bingwu (王炳武), brother of imprisoned Chinese dissident Wang Bingzhang (王炳章), said his brother’s life sentence for advocating democracy showed why democracy, freedom, human rights and the rule of law are desperately needed in China.
Wang Bingzhang, who received his medical doctorate in 1982 in Canada and organized democracy movements in North America, was kidnapped in Vietnam in 2002 and given a life sentence in 2003 in a closed trial after being charged with terrorism and spying for Taiwan.
The National Security Bureau said in December last year that Wang Bingzhang had never been a spy for Taiwan.
HONG KONG SECURITY: The president blasted regulations requiring Taiwanese agents or political organizations to provide information on their Hong Kong-related activities President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday warned of countermeasures should controversial Chinese national security legislation imposed on Hong Kong undermine or harm Taiwanese interests. Article 43 of the legislation empowers the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to serve written notices to Taiwanese political organizations or individual agents to furnish information on their Hong Kong-related activities, including their personal particulars, finances, assets, expenditure and capital in the territory. Failure to comply or providing false or incomplete information can result in a fine of HK$100,000 (US$12,903) or imprisonment of six months or two years respectively. Tsai said that Taiwan would keep a close watch on how
PROBE LAUNCHED: An officer who served as a supervisor in the drill died in an apparent suicide after the accident, which was caused by unexpected waves Two marines who were on Friday injured in a military exercise in the waters off Kaohsiung passed away yesterday, Navy Command said. The marines — surnamed Tsai (蔡), 26, and a sergeant surnamed Chen (陳), 36 — were in a seven-member Marine Corps team that encountered rough seas during a simulated response to enemy forces landing on Taiwan. Their rubber craft overturned in waters off Taoziyuan (桃子園) beach in Zuoying District (左營), injuring four of the marines. They were rushed to hospital, where three of them — Tsai, Chen and a 34-year-old sergeant — were taken to an intensive care unit
MORAL COURAGE: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged the global community to face China’s intention to subdue Taiwan and reject such irrational requests The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday strongly condemned the Chinese government for meddling with US officials’ interactions with Taiwan after FBI Director Christopher Wray revealed China’s efforts to discourage US officials from visiting Taiwan. The greatest long-term threat to the US’ information security and intellectual property, as well as its economic vitality, is China’s counterintelligence and economic espionage operations, Wray told a video event at the Hudson Institute in Washington. Beijing is engaged in a highly sophisticated and maligning foreign influence campaign, with methods that include bribery, blackmail and covert deals, he said. Giving an example, Wray said that when a US official
‘SIGNAL TO ALLIES’: The US Navy’s exercises are not in response to those carried out by China, the commander of the strike group led by the USS ‘Ronald Reagan’ said Two US aircraft carriers were yesterday conducting exercises in the disputed South China Sea, the US Navy said as China also carried out military drills that have been criticized by the US Department of Defense and neighboring states. China and the US have accused each other of stoking tension in the waterway at a time of strained relations over everything from COVID-19 to trade to Hong Kong. The USS Nimitz and USS Ronald Reagan were carrying out operations and exercises in the South China Sea “to support a free and open Indo-Pacific,” the navy said in a statement. It did not say exactly