The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) should face the Tiananmen Square Massacre pragmatically and disclose the truth about the brutal crackdown in what would be a first step toward democratization, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) leaders said yesterday.
More than two decades after the repression of pro-democracy demonstrators in Beijing on June 4 and June 5, 1989, the CCP is still keeping the truth and all information related to the incident from the public and the victims’ families, DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) told a forum on human rights held in China to commemorate the 24th anniversary of the massacre.
“Democracy, a constitution and political reforms are still taboo subjects in China despite its economic rise to the world’s second-largest economy,” Su said. “Though economically successful, the so-called ‘China model’ that sacrifices the rights of the Chinese people in exchange for economic growth has brought about social anxiety and pressure.”
The “Chinese Dream” that Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) has boldly envisioned cannot be achieved before the CCP heals the country’s historical wounds by dealing with the massacre honestly, and ensuring the human rights and freedom of its people with the establishment of social justice, Su said.
Su reiterated that human rights should be the basis of cross-strait engagement and said that President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) lukewarm response toward the commemoration of the event since he assumed office was regrettable.
Ma had participated in commemoration ceremonies of the massacre and was a vocal supporter of Chinese dissidents until he took office in 2008.
Chinese dissident Wang Dan (王丹), an exiled leader of the 1989 protest who is currently a visiting assistant professor at National Tsing Hua University in Hsinchu County, echoed Su’s frustration with Ma on the sidelines of the forum, saying that the president has adopted a “surprisingly low standard” toward Chinese human rights.
“Time has obviously changed a lot of people, including President Ma. It’s a pity,” Wang said.
Former DPP chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said in a press release that the increasingly powerful Chinese civil society’s pursuit of freedom of speech and democracy is now an “irreversible trend,” so Beijing should initiate the democratization process as soon as possible.
“The Chinese government has to realize that the sooner it begins democratizing, the less the people will suffer. It must have confidence in the Chinese people’s ability to withstand the trials of the democratic process,” Tsai said.
Former premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷) of the DPP said in his weekly radio talk show yesterday that it was a pity that the truth of the Tiananmen Square Massacre remained buried.
Beijing must publicize all information pertaining to the incident and say if there are dissidents imprisoned for the protest more than two decades later, Hsieh said.
In related news, a group of DPP lawmakers, including Gao Jyh-peng (高志鵬), Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) and Lee Chun-yi (李俊俋), yesterday proposed establishing a Tiananmen Massacre memorial museum in Taiwan.