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.
SECRET OUT: Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung yesterday accidentally revealed that the infections occurred at the ministry’s Taoyuan General Hospital The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported the fifth COVID-19 case in a cluster infection at a Taoyuan hospital, where four other medical workers were confirmed to have been infected over the past week. The latest case is a nurse who had tested negative on Tuesday last week, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the CECC, told a news conference. However, on Thursday, she developed symptoms, such as nasal congestion and a cough, and a second test yesterday found that she was infected, Chen said. She is the head nurse of a ward where two
VIGILANCE: While two of the cases are family members of a nurse, there is no sign of community spread and the source of infection is identifiable, the CECC said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported four new domestic COVID-19 cases associated with a cluster infection at a Taoyuan hospital. Since the first case was identified on Tuesday last week, five healthcare workers — two doctors and three nurses — at the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s Taoyuan General Hospital have tested positive for the virus. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that two of the four new cases are the husband and daughter of a nurse (case No. 863) who had earlier been confirmed to have COVID-19. The husband (case No. 864)
Don Quijote, the biggest discount store in Japan, is opening its first store in Taiwan today. The three-story Don Don Donki store in Taipei’s Ximending (西門町) area, which operates 24 hours a day, has already created 400 jobs, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) said in a press release. Many Taiwanese, including Taipei Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊), consider a trip to Don Quijote an essential stop in Japan. “I have been to Don Quijote at least 10 times myself,” Huang said yesterday at a news conference announcing the store’s opening. “They are rendering an important service, because we cannot travel
‘CONTAINED’: The CECC is not considering locking down the hospital where the infections were detected, as their source has been found, Chen Shih-chung said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported one new domestic COVID-19 case, a doctor at a hospital in northern Taiwan where three other medical workers were confirmed to have the disease over the past week. The new case — No. 856 — is a doctor who had treated a COVID-19 patient together with case No. 838, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center. Case No. 838, confirmed as a locally infected COVID-19 case on Tuesday, was the first case in the hospital cluster, and later infected his partner, who is a nurse at the same