Mon, Jun 04, 2018 - Page 1 News List

MAC urges democratic reforms in PRC

TIANANMEN REMEMBERED:The council urged Beijing to honor and protect its people’s rights and to acknowledge the facts of what occurred during the massacre

By Chung Li-hua and William Hetherington  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

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.

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