Tue, Mar 09, 2004 - Page 4 News List

Ministry pledges moral support to democracy in HK


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will strengthen ties with the US over Hong Kong's democratic development issues, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Michael Kau (高英茂) said yesterday.

Moreover, Kau said, the foreign ministry will give moral support to Hong Kong's pursuit of full democracy.

Kau made the remarks while fielding questions at a meeting of the Legislative Yuan's Foreign and Overseas Chinese Affairs Committee.

During the meeting, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Parris Chang (張旭成) said Hong Kong's prominent dissident lawmaker Martin Lee (李柱銘) testified before a US Senate hearing last Friday on the territory's demand for full democracy.

Noting that the hearing reflected increasing US concern about Hong Kong's democratic development, Chang suggested that the foreign ministry issue a statement in support of Hong Kong's democratization.

In response, Kau said the foreign ministry seldom deals with politically sensitive issues. Nevertheless, he said, the foreign ministry will reinforce contact with US authorities over issues regarding Hong Kong's democratization.

The Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, which is operated by the foreign ministry, will serve as a platform for promoting democratic diplomacy with other parts of the world, including Hong Kong and China, Kau said.

To facilitate realization of this goal, Kau said the foundation has launched a quarterly publication as a forum for academic exchanges among Chinese societies around the world.

"The inaugural issue, published early this month, contains articles written by eight scholars at home and abroad. The articles address issues regarding Taiwan's democratic experiences as well as its plight and challenges," said Kau, who concurrently serves as the foundation's chief executive.

"We'll invite scholars and experts in China, Hong Kong and Singapore to contribute," he said.

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