Using simplified Chinese characters on Facebook, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday urged China to address the injustices of the Tiananmen Square Massacre as a first step toward democratization.
China has the opportunity to “transform the unfortunate historical [event that was the] Tiananmen Square Massacre into the cornerstone of its march toward freedom and democracy,” Tsai wrote.
Tsai hoped to use yesterday’s 29th anniversary of the massacre as an opportunity to speak to Chinese and to share Taiwan’s experience with democratization, she said.
As Chinese visiting her page would realize, it is a microcosm of Taiwan’s democratic government, with both encouraging and critical comments, she said.
“In Taiwan, there are no sensitive words. We don’t censor Internet use and there’s of course no need to breach any firewalls [to access blocked content]. This is how we live and we have built a democracy that facilitates this,” she said.
Since it occurred, China has been unable to get out from under the haze of the Tiananmen Square Massacre, she said.
By contrast, Taiwan has gone through the 228 Incident and the Kaohsiung Incident, both of which were described by authorities at the time as “rebellions.” However, because of the social energy that was “fomented,” built up and mobilized as a result of these incidents, Taiwanese politics were driven toward reform and democratization.
“We have upheld our historical responsibilities, wholeheartedly getting to the facts, redressing the injustices experienced by the victims [of those incidents] and compensating their family members,” Tsai said.
She also described the Transitional Justice Commission, explaining its role in investigating injustices that occurred during authoritarian rule.
The commission’s role is to heal society’s scars, resolve antagonisms and strengthen Taiwan’s democracy, she said.
Tsai said she hopes for a day when Chinese netizens can access her Facebook page without breaching the Chinese government’s firewall.
Taiwan and China could better understand each other and more easily cooperate if China were democratized, she said.
The Democratic Progressive Party also issued a statement saying that China’s democratization is in the hands of the Chinese people.
Separately, former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) wrote on Facebook that he has always been concerned by China’s failure to redress the Tiananmen Square Massacre.
“If Taiwan can face its history and uphold its responsibilities, why can’t the Chinese Communist Party do the same?” he asked, adding that unification cannot be discussed until the injustices of the Tiananmen Square Massacre are redressed.
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
‘EFFECTIVE DETERRENCE’: If the Biden administration suspends arms sales to Taiwan, the military could still ready a nimble fighting force for defense, an analyst said The “US Strategic Framework for the Indo-Pacific” last week sparked debate among analysts after US President Donald Trump declassified the document 20 years ahead of schedule. Trump on Tuesday last week released the document that had governed US strategic action in the region since the US leader approved its use in 2018. The document, which outlines US priorities in the region, emphasizes the importance of defending Taiwan against military aggression and facilitating the country’s development of asymmetric strategies and capabilities. The overall directive of the document is for the US to prevent China from establishing sustained air and sea dominance inside the first
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 legislator yesterday called for authorities to investigate the sale of Chinese-made, Internet-connected karaoke machines containing “propaganda songs.” Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃) said she was approached by a person who had discovered Chinese patriotic songs such as My Motherland (我的祖國) — which is commonly referred to as China’s “second national anthem” — in Chinese-made karaoke devices sold in Taiwan. The machines are popular, as they can connect to the Internet, providing access to thousands of songs, she said. One retailer, who asked to remain anonymous, said that the machines first entered the local market about three years ago, starting with