Human rights violations in China have worsened in the 29 years since the Tiananmen Square Massacre, despite that country making advances in other areas, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said yesterday in a statement to mark the anniversary.
China should enact democratic reforms and respect the democratic rights of Taiwan’s 23 million people, it said.
Only by ending its “united front” tactics and military threats aimed at Taiwan can China improve cross-strait relations, the council said.
“To this day, the Chinese Communist Party [CCP] has not sought to reassess its use of the military to suppress students and workers [in Beijing in 1989] who bravely stood up for democracy, freedom, human rights and the rule of law. This is deeply regrettable,” it said.
While the CCP has enacted political reforms and made an effort to combat government corruption, it has also ramped up pressure on democracy and rights advocates, and consolidated the power of its one-party dictatorship, the council said.
“We call on China to take steps toward democratic reform, and to protect free speech, freedom of religion and other rights of its people, and to properly address the facts surrounding the Tiananmen Square Massacre,” it said.
In its attempts to impose its ideology through strict control over the media, social media, education and religious practices in China, the CCP ignores its self-proclaimed philosophy of “putting [the interests of] the people at its center,” as shown by its attempts to “Sinicize” religions, oppress Christianity and eradicate the heritages of people in Tibet and Xinjiang, it said.
The CCP’s interference with religion and its aggressive supervision of the activities of Chinese citizens has met with international criticism, and have seriously harmed China’s international image, the council’s statement said.
“While Taiwan has already gone through its own period of authoritarianism, during which free expression was seen as a ‘dangerous and threatening thing’ to the government, history has taught us that free expression is a driving force for the advancement of civilized society,” it said.
Beijing must similarly embrace democratic reform and the protection of human rights, which are universal values in international society, as China moves forward, the council said.
China must give power back to its people, as well as respect the rights that Taiwanese have in the international community, which is the only way that Taiwan and China could have closer ties, it said.
The council also condemned Beijing for its “improper trial and imprisonment” of Taiwanese human rights activist Lee Ming-che (李明哲), who was sentenced to five years in prison on Nov. 28 last year for subverting state power.
It urged Beijing to allow Lee’s safe return to Taiwan as soon as possible.
KEEP AWAY: People should wear a mask in places where they cannot follow social distancing rules, the CECC said, adding that it would publish detailed guidelines today The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday announced 16 new cases of COVID-19, including two domestic cases, as it urged people to practice social distancing in public spaces by keeping a distance of at least 1m when outdoors and 1.5m indoors. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that seven of the new cases tested positive upon their arrival at the airport, four were under home quarantine, one was under home isolation and two were under self-health management, while the two domestic cases sought treatment on their own. The domestic cases are a man in his
Taiwan will negotiate with the WHO about its participation without Beijing’s help and intervention as more countries, including Australia and Japan, are partnering with Taiwan to curb the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a telephonic roundtable with reporters on Monday also supported Taiwan’s role in the WHO, saying the US Department of State would do its best to assist Taiwan’s “appropriate role” in the world’s highest health policy setting body, Voice of America reported. In a Japan Business Press report published on Sunday, Chinese Ambassador to Japan Kong Xuanyou (孔鉉佑) said
Malaysian authorities have advised women to wear makeup, not to nag their husbands and speak with a cartoon character’s soothing voice during the virus lockdown, sparking a flood of mockery online. Like many countries, Malaysia has ordered all citizens to stay at home to stem the spread of COVID-19, which, as of yesterday, had killed at least 39,070 people globally. In a series of online posters with the hashtag #WomenPreventCOVID19, the Malaysian Ministry of Women and Family Development issued advice on how to avoid domestic conflicts during the partial lockdown, which began on March 18. One of the campaign posters depicted
Japan’s ruling party yesterday proposed the nation’s biggest-ever stimulus package of ￥60 trillion (US$554 billion) as the COVID-19 pandemic locks the economy in a recession. The sum includes ￥20 trillion in fiscal measures with private initiatives and other elements likely making up the rest, the proposal by the Liberal Democratic Party showed. More than ￥10 trillion, or the equivalent of a 5 percentage point cut in the sales tax rate, would be handed out to the public in a combination of cash, subsidies and coupons, the plan showed. The proposal puts an initial figure on a stimulus package that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo