Thu, Jun 06, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Politics lags behind economic growth in China, Ko says

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je talks to reporters before attending a municipal policy meeting with borough wardens at the Daan District Office yesterday.

Photo: Chang Chia-ming, Taipei Times

China has experienced significant economic growth in the past three decades, but its political system has not grown with its economic power, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said yesterday when he was asked about a Facebook post about the Tiananmen Square Massacre.

“Mainland China has experienced amazing economic growth in the past 30 years, but it did not make the same progress in the aspect of politics,” he wrote on Facebook on Tuesday night, the 30th anniversary of the massacre.

“Democracy, freedom, rule of law, human rights — the full realization of these universal values in China, is not only Taiwan’s expectation for the mainland, but supposedly if the whole world’s expectation for China,” he wrote.

The Tiananmen Incident was a tragedy in modern Chinese history, but in addition to reflecting on oneself and maintaining vigilance, there should also be encouragement to insist that universal values are fully realized in China, he wrote.

His post drew a mixed response.

Some commenters asked why Ko told the Taipei City Council on Monday that Taiwan does not need to put much stock in Chinese officials’ remarks about the massacre, while others asked if he was ignoring China’s remarks or provoking it.

New Power Party Legislator Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明) yesterday wrote on Facebook that Ko has consistently avoided criticizing the Chinese Communist Party regime, and he was still sidestepping the issue, because it was impossible for Ko not to know that the Chinese government has never reflected about its actions over the massacre, and the same kind of tragedy could happen again.

Ko continues to promote his ideas of “two sides of the [Taiwan] Strait are one family” and “be friendly to China,” but that it is actually a strategy to “feed, rein in and control” Taiwanese, Hsu wrote.

“Since 2014, Ko has been most appreciated by the people for his reckless blunt remarks towards the pan-blue and pan-green camps, as well as authoritarian China,” Hsu wrote. “But for his presidential bid now, he keeps comprising, kneeling and succumbing [to China], which is disappointing.”

Asked about Hsu’s comments, Ko said that “we should still encourage China to make political progress that can match up to its significant economic growth.”

When asked if he fears his social media posts would harm his chance of visiting Shanghai this year for the annual Taipei-Shanghai forum, Ko asked why it would be harmful.

He would still attend if the opportunity arose, he said.

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