Minister of Culture Lung Ying-tai (龍應台) yesterday declined to make a public statement on the Tiananmen Square Massacre, saying that to do so would affect negotiations between Taiwan and China on cultural issues.
At the legislature’s Education and Culture Committee session, Lung was asked by several Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers about her views on the bloody crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators in Beijing on the night of June 4-June 5, 1989.
“My views regarding the June Fourth Incident as a writer have been expressed in my books,” said Lung, a former essayist and cultural critic known for her writings on both Taiwan’s and China’s systems of government.
Lung said she “has the task” of negotiating cultural issues with China under the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) that was signed in June 2010.
Lung was responding to a question put to her by DPP Legislator Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) on whether she would attend a concert held in Taipei last night to commemorate the 23rd anniversary of the massacre.
“If I brought my personal views into cross-strait negotiations, I believe Taiwanese would be disappointed,” Lung said.
Lung told the press during a break that she would withhold her views on the incident in the interests of Taiwan’s publishing, film and TV industries.
In response to DPP Legislator Cheng Li-chiun’s (鄭麗君) call for her to express her views on the incident, Lung said a decisionmaker, unlike a writer, needs to show prudence as well as courage.
She said her personal views could be found in an article she wrote on the 15th anniversary of the Tiananmen Incident, titled “Who is not a Tiananmen mother? Dedicated to Ding Zilin.”
In the article, Lung described the massacre as an “open and festering wound on the body of a giant.”
“Until the wound is healed, the giant’s health will be a sham and the great future it is rushing toward will not be truly great,” she wrote.
She said in the article the massacre represented the “barbaric nature of power, the loss of reason and the fall of humanity.”
“Until the day it is rehabilitated, it will be carved on the forehead of the Beijing government,” she wrote.
The Chinese government put the official number of deaths in the incident at 23.
However, the international media and other sources estimate that between 800 and 3,000 people lost their lives after troops and tanks fired on the hundreds of thousands of protesters in the Chinese capital.
TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT: A US Air Force KC-135 tanker came less than 1,000 feet of an EVA plane and was warned off by a Taipei air traffic controller, a report said A US aerial refueling aircraft came very close to an EVA Airways jet in the airspace over southern Taiwan, a military aviation news Web site said. A report published by Alert 5 on Tuesday said that automatic dependent surveillance–broadcast (ADS-B) data captured by planfinder.net on Wednesday last week showed a US Air Force KC-135 tanker “coming less than 1,000 feet [305m] vertically with EVA Air flight BR225 as both aircraft crossed path south of Taiwan” that morning. The report included an audio recording of a female controller from the Taipei air traffic control center telling the unidentified aircraft that it was
A series of discussions on the legacy of martial law and authoritarianism are to be held at the Taipei International Book Exhibition this month, featuring findings and analysis by the Transitional Justice Commission. The commission and publisher Book Republic organized the series, entitled “Escaping the Nation’s Labyrinth of Memory: What Authoritarian Symbols and Records Can Tell Us,” to help people navigate narratives through textual analysis and comparisons with other nations. The four-day series is to begin on Thursday next week with a discussion between commission Chairwoman Yang Tsui (楊翠), Polish-language translator Lin Wei-yun (林蔚昀), and Polish author and artist Pawel Gorecki comparing
MOVING OUT: A former professor said that rent and early education costs in Taipei are the nation’s highest, which makes it difficult for young people to start families The population of Taipei last year fell to the lowest in 23 years due to high rent, more transportation options and the expansion of northern cities into a single metropolis, academics and city officials said on Monday. Data released this month by the Ministry of the Interior showed that the capital was home to 2,602,418 people last year, down 42,623 from 2019. The decline is second only to 1993, when the population fell by 42,828 people, while Taipei’s population was the lowest it has been since 1997. Taipei saw the biggest drop among the six special municipalities, while Taoyuan led the group in
A US aircraft carrier group led by the USS Theodore Roosevelt has entered the South China Sea to promote “freedom of the seas,” the US military said yesterday, as tensions between China and Taiwan raise concerns in Washington. US Indo-Pacific Command said in a statement that the strike group entered the South China Sea on Saturday, the same day Taiwan reported a large incursion of Chinese bombers and fighter jets into its air defense identification zone near the Pratas Islands (Dongsha Islands, 東沙群島). The US military said the carrier strike group was in the South China Sea, a large part of which