Wed, Jun 05, 2019 - Page 3 News List

KMT urges China to face Tiananmen

‘TRAGEDY’:The party said it would continue to support democracy, respect the rule of law and defend the Republic of China so that it can be a beacon of democracy

By Ann Maxon  /  Staff reporter

People take pictures of the “Tank Man” balloon installation during the commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Ritchie B Tongo / EPA-EFE

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday urged China to confront the history of the Tiananmen Square protests and acknowledge the protesters’ calls for democracy and freedom.

The KMT in a statement on the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre said it believes that “historical facts must not be concealed and that truth must not be undermined.”

Chinese authorities should acknowledge and value the protesters’ calls for democracy and freedom, because “facing history and allowing those requests from people to be truthfully presented is the only way to heal the pain from the past and move toward a better future,” it said.

In the past 30 years, the Republic of China (ROC) has lifted martial law to become the first Chinese-speaking nation to embrace democracy and the rule of law, the KMT said.

“The party will continue to stand with the people to commemorate June 4, support democracy, respect the rule of law and defend the ROC — so that it can continue to be a beacon of freedom for Chinese around the world,” it said.

It would also “continue telling the mainland and the world that it values freedom, democracy and diversity,” the KMT said.

To advance their political interests, certain political leaders have tried to distort history under the pretense of promoting justice or reforms, against the principles of democracy and the rule of law, it added.

“Leaders on both sides of the Taiwan Strait must return to what they had committed to do: identify with the nation, respect the rights of the people and improve people’s lives,” the party said.

Over the past three decades, China has made impressive progress following successful economic reforms, Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) said in a statement.

Hopefully Taiwan’s experience and conviction in promoting democracy would be helpful to China when it takes the next step to promote political reforms, he said.

“What happened on June 4 three decades ago was a historical tragedy,” Han said, adding: “We hope everyone can learn from history and avoid making the same mistake.”

The Chinese government should deal with the historical trauma “wisely” and seek to build a political system that would meet the expectations of a majority of Chinese, he said.

Former New Taipei City mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) said on Facebook that some believe that they should not mention the Cultural Revolution or the massacre to avoid offending China, but he disagrees with that view.

Memories of the incident still haunt those who lived through it and their families, and their pain would not end until the truth is uncovered, responsibility allotted and lessons learned, he said.

As Taiwan’s experience with the 228 Incident and the White Terror era shows, “history can never be concealed and the best approach is to face it,” Chu said.

Hon Hai Precision Industry Co chairman Terry Gou said that the massacre has left a “trauma that needs to be healed.”

He feels great sorrow and sympathy for the people who were hurt during the massacre as well as their families, and hopes that Taiwan’s freedom and democracy would serve as an example to China, he told reporters on the sidelines of an event in Taipei.

Asked to comment on the massacre at an event at National Taiwan Normal University, KMT Legislator Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) said: “June 4 must not be forgotten, and we must defend Taiwan’s democracy and freedom.”

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