Speaking on the 24th anniversary of the Tiananmen incident, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday called on Chinese leaders to seize the current window of opportunity and create a new era for human rights.
He also urged Chinese authorities to broaden their minds to tolerate dissent.
In an article to mark the anniversary of the bloody crackdown on student protesters in 1989, Ma said several of his friends have asked him why he commemorates the June 4 event every year.
“This is because the June 4 Incident, like Taiwan’s 228 Incident, is a tragedy that resulted from the government’s improper handling of a popular protest,” Ma said.
The 228 Massacre was the brutal crackdown on an uprising against the then-authoritarian Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) regime on Feb. 28, 1947, and over the following weeks.
“Both the 228 Incident and the June 4 Incident are like mirrors, reminding the leaders on both sides of the Taiwan Strait to engage in soul-searching and learn lessons,” Ma said.
He expressed the hope that similar events would not happen again and that universal values of human rights can take root in China. Ma added that China last month issued a white paper on progress on its human rights last year.
Outsiders might still have a lot of misgivings, Ma said, “but as long as mainland authorities are willing to review their human rights issues regularly and accept outside inspections, it will be a positive development.”
Touting Taiwan’s own human rights record, Ma said that the Presidential Office had set up an advisory committee on human rights to issue reports on the implementation of two UN human rights covenants in the nation and invited 10 international human rights experts to Taiwan to review its human rights environment.
Ma said the protection of human rights has become a worldwide trend and that as long as the Chinese authorities have the will, they are capable of narrowing the gap in human rights between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait.
The Mainland Affairs Council said that China should take an open and positive approach to re-examining its crackdown on student protesters in Beijing on June 4, 1989.
Beijing needs to face up to the event and reflect on the positive impact it has brought to China’s modernization, the council said.
China stepped up efforts to counter corruption after the 18th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party in November last year, and the white paper it issued demonstrated its determination to protect human rights, the council said.
These moves seemed to match the appeals of the students who launched the protests 24 years ago, the council said, and it urged Beijing to confront the historical fact and improve the welfare of its people.
The Chinese government should do so by treating the victims of the June 4 incident well and showing sincerity in trying to heal the societal scars left by the crackdown, the council said.
VITAL INDUSTRY: A war in the Strait would be a catastrophe, as Taiwan ‘lies at the heart’ of the world’s semiconductor industry, the magazine’s report said The government yesterday welcomed international attention on Taiwan’s security, saying that China is to blame for threatening regional stability, after a report by The Economist called Taiwan “the most dangerous place on Earth.” The report is featured on the cover of the magazine’s latest issue, which depicts the nation as the epicenter of a US-China rivalry. The cover shows Taiwan in a radar display with dots crossing the Taiwan Strait accompanied by a Chinese flag and dots nearing the east coast with a US flag. The US maintains a “one China” policy, while maintaining relations with Taiwan, but such “strategic ambiguity is breaking
HIGH-RISK GROUP: After the latest outbreak, family members of workers exposed to infection would from tomorrow be eligible for government-funded vaccines The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported four local COVID-19 cases: three family members of an infected worker at a quarantine hotel and a family member of an infected pilot. The new cases bring the number of infections involving China Airlines Ltd (中華航空) pilots and the Novotel Taipei Taoyuan International Airport hotel, where many of the airline’s crew members quarantined, to 24. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said three of them are the husband, son and daughter of case No. 1,129, a woman in her 60s, who works at the hotel. The son is in
NEXT STEP? The contract chipmaker said it would decide whether to add more plants based on operation efficiency, cost economics and demand Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) is planning to build several more chipmaking fabs in the US state of Arizona beyond the one already planned, three people familiar with the matter said. TSMC, the world’s largest contract chipmaker, announced in May last year that it would build a US$12 billion fab in Arizona. The 12-inch wafer fab in Phoenix is expected to start mass production in 2024, the Investment Commission said in December, when it approved the plan. Three sources familiar with the matter, speaking on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to speak to the media, said that up
VIRUS CURBS: Visiting people staying at healthcare and long-term care facilities in Taipei, New Taipei City and Taoyuan is banned until May 17, the CECC announced The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday banned visits to patients or residents at healthcare and long-term care facilities in three cities until May 17. It also reported six imported cases of COVID-19 and two cases with unclear infection sources. As the number of locally transmitted cases rises, some of whom have visited many places in Taipei, New Taipei City and Taoyuan, enhanced disease prevention measures have to be implemented in the three cities, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center. “Visiting people staying at healthcare and long-term care facilities in Taipei, New Taipei City and