Mon, Jun 07, 2004 - Page 4 News List

Taiwan sets example for China, MAC official says

DEMOCRACY Mainland Affairs Council Vice Chairman Chiu Tai-san urged Beijing to heed the president's proposal that Taiwan and China engage in peaceful talks


Democracy and freedom are universal values for the whole world, and Taiwan has set a good example for China in this regard, Mainland Affairs Council Vice Chairman Chiu Tai-san (邱太三) said in New York on Saturday.

Chiu made the remarks at a seminar held in New York to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the June 4 Tiananmen massacre in 1989.

Academics from around the world and Chinese pro-democracy activists took part in the seminar, including Feng Congde (封從德), a prominent student leader in the June 4 pro-democracy movement in Beijing, who now lives in exile.

Expressing his admiration for the sacrifice that the students and other people made for the movement, Chiu said that 15 years later, amid changing times, Taiwan's democratization has caught up with the mainstream trends of the international community, while the whole world is paying more heed to democratic developments in China.

If greater democratization in China can help reduce tensions and differences between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, Taiwan's experiences in democratic development in turn are good examples for China, Chiu said.

He urged the Beijing regime to study the proposal raised by President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) in his inaugural address that Taiwan and China should seek to engage in improving bilateral ties based on dignity, reciprocity and security.

"The status quo must be fully respected and negotiations should replace confrontation," Chiu quoted Chen as having said.

Yu Jie (余杰), an academic from Beijing, said the Internet has provided a new space for the public and intellectuals in China to dedicate themselves to the promotion of pro-democracy activities on an equal footing.

Feng attributed the failure of the bloody 1989 pro-democracy movement to unsuccessful organization and the way the activity was handled by the students, which led to it being crushed by the military.

Pan Qing (潘晴), who has lived in exile in New Zealand since 1989, called the Tiananmen massacre a vigorous reflection of the Beijing regime's nature, one based and cemented by ignorance of human rights and by authoritarian rule.

Chen Xiaoya (陳小雅), a historian, said that the Tiananmen massacre brought to light the fact that the Beijing regime has maintained power by the use of violence and cheating.

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