Tue, Jun 03, 2008 - Page 3 News List

Ma to issue a statement on Tiananmen Massacre


President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) will issue a written statement tomorrow to express his views and feelings on the Tiananmen Square Massacre in which the Chinese army crushed unarmed pro-democracy demonstrators at Tiananmen Square in Beijing on June 4, 1989, sources said on Sunday.

Ma has consistently commemorated the bloody event in various ways since 1989, including attending prayer services for the victims and publishing commemorative articles.

Despite his campaign promise to promote reconciliation and cooperation with China, Ma told reporters after his May 20 inauguration that he would observe the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre in an appropriate and pertinent manner.

Political sources said Ma was likely to issue a written statement or have Presidential Office spokesman Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) read a prepared statement tomorrow to mark the incident.

Last year, in his capacity as the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) presidential candidate, Ma contributed an article to a local newspaper in which he reminded the Chinese authorities that freedom and democracy should be the “common language of the two sides of the Taiwan Strait.”

“Only freedom and democracy can truly move cross-strait relations forward, lead to effective dialogue and build mutual trust,” Ma wrote.

It remained to be seen whether and how Ma’s upcoming statement on the Tiananmen Square Massacre would impact on cross-strait relations, political analysts said.

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