Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Minister Chen Ming-tong (陳明通) and Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) on Saturday expressed support for a Chinese academic who was suspended from his post after criticizing Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平).
Xu Zhangrun (許章潤), a law professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing, was this month suspended after writing several articles criticizing the Chinese government. One of the articles, from July last year, is an an essay titled “Our Current Fears and Expectations” denouncing Xi’s cult of personality.
In a series of text messages, Xu said that several university officials on March 25 ordered him to cease his lectures and research projects, saying that a university “work team” would investigate the essays he has written since July last year, the New York Times reported on March 27.
Professional advice from academics can serve as the conscience of society, Chen has said in a statement.
A civilized society should respect diverse views, as cracking down on different opinions, criticism and dissent only undermines harmony and stability, he added.
Xi’s repeal of presidential term limits in the Chinese constitution has been criticized by intellectuals and academics who dared to speak up, Chen said.
He added that the criticisms are widely supported by Taiwanese and the international community, so Beijing’s response would be closely watched.
Chen also called on the Chinese authorities to reflect on the flaws of the one-party dictatorship and to implement reforms so that the expectations of Chinese can be met.
Wu, who served as MAC minister from 2004 to 2007, in a tweet written in simplified Chinese, praised academics who supported Xu.
“I admire those who have the courage to support professor Xu Zhangrun. I see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Wu wrote.
THE CHINA CONNECTION: As Beijing’s aggression increases, so does Taiwanese consciousness, making a new constitution imperative, Hsu Wei-chun said If the nation is to ratify a new constitution, it must first end any illusions about the current document’s relevance to Taiwan, an academic told a forum in Taipei yesterday. For the constitutional revisionist movement to succeed, it needs public enthusiasm, the right timing and a clear plan of action, Chung Yuan Christian University associate professor Hsu Wei-chun (徐偉群) told attendees at the event titled “Imagining a New Constitution for a New Era,” which was organized by the National Taiwan University Graduate Student Association. The Constitution exists under the “one China” framework and has little relevance to Taiwan, Hsu said, adding that
Former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday urged Beijing to respect the median line of the Taiwan Strait by immediately stopping its military intimidation of Taiwan, as such actions would only hurt the feelings of Taiwanese. Beijing should immediately stop making military provocations against Taiwan, Ma wrote on Facebook after Chinese warplanes in the past week have made numerous forays across the median line that divides the Taiwan Strait. Although it has never officially acknowledged the median line, Beijing used to respect it, Ma said in response to comments on Monday by Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin (汪文斌), who said
IDENTITY: The time is right to press on with a referendum, as the nation has heightened visibility and support in the global community, the Taiwan United Nations Alliance said The Taiwan United Nations Alliance yesterday said that it is considering launching a petition for a referendum proposal to have the nation join the UN under the name “Taiwan.” Alliance chairman Twu Shiing-jer (涂醒哲) was joined at a news conference in Taipei by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Huang Hsiu-fang (黃秀芳) and leaders of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan and civic organizations. They said that it is the right time for a petition because Taiwan’s visibility on the world stage has increased, as it has been praised for its success in containing its COVID-19 outbreak and for helping other countries by sharing
An advertisement displayed in the corridor of the underground Taipei City Mall has caused contention online with social media users saying that it depicts Taiwanese bears as servants of Chinese pandas. The advertisement — which imitates the style of an ancient Chinese painting, but replaces people with bears — shows a scene in imperial China, with Formosan black bears laboring, while pandas relax and enjoy beverages. “The development of the tourism industry is important, but this type of targeted advertising is extremely disrespectful — and it makes people uncomfortable,” Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taipei City Councilor Chen E-jun (陳怡君) said. The advertisement, under