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.
Police have detained a Taoyuan couple suspected of over the past two months colluding with human trafficking rings and employment scammers in Southeast Asia to send nearly 100 Taiwanese jobseekers to Cambodia. At a media briefing in Taipei yesterday, the Criminal Investigation Bureau presented items seized from the couple, including alleged victims’ passports, forged COVID-19 vaccination records, mobile phones, bank documents, checks and cash. The man, surnamed Tsai (蔡), and his girlfriend, surnamed Tsan (詹), were taken into custody last month, after police at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport stopped four jobseekers from boarding a flight to Phnom Penh, said Dustin Lee (李泱輯),
BILINGUAL PLAN: The 17 educators were recruited under a program that seeks to empower Taiwanese, the envoy to the Philippines said The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines on Thursday hosted a send-off event for the first group of English-language teachers from the country who were recruited for a Ministry of Education-initiated program to advance bilingual education in Taiwan. The 14 teachers and three teaching assistants are part of the Taiwan Foreign English Teacher Program, which aims to help find English-language instructors for Taiwan’s public elementary and junior-high schools, the office said. Seventy-seven teachers and 11 teaching assistants from the Philippines have been hired to teach in Taiwan in the coming school year, office data showed. Among the first group is 57-year-old
TRICKED INTO MOVING: Local governments in China do not offer any help, and Taiwanese there must compete with Chinese in an unfamiliar setting, a researcher said Beijing’s incentives for Taiwanese businesspeople to invest in China are only intended to lure them across the Taiwan Strait, after which they receive no real support, an expert said on Sunday. Over the past few years, Beijing has been offering a number of incentives that “benefit Taiwanese in name, while benefiting China in reality,” a cross-strait affairs expert said on condition of anonymity. Strategies such as the “31 incentives” are intended to lure Taiwanese talent, capital and technology to help address China’s economic issues while also furthering its “united front” efforts, they said. Local governments in China do not offer much practical
‘ORDINARY PEOPLE’: A man watching Taiwanese military drills said that there would be nothing anyone could do if the situation escalates in the Taiwan Strait Many people in Taiwan look upon China’s military exercises over the past week with calm resignation, doubting that war is imminent and if anything, feeling pride in their nation’s determination to defend itself. After a visit to Taiwan last week by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, China has sent ships and aircraft across an unofficial buffer between Taiwan and China’s coast and missiles over Taipei and into waters surrounding the nation since Thursday last week. However, Rosa Chang, proudly watching her son take part in Taiwanese military exercises that included dozens of howitzers firing shells into the Taiwan Strait off