The government has faith in the US’ democratic institutions and judicial system in the handling of the alleged police killing of an African-American man, and people should not forget the advocates for democracy sacrificed in the Tienanmen Square Massacre 31 years ago, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday.
While thousands of people in the US have been protesting against the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, after a white police officer pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck, US judicial authorities have launched investigations into the case, ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) told a regular news briefing in Taipei when asked for comment on the protests.
Asked by reporters whether the ministry condemns violent actions by US police, Ou said the ministry believes that as a democracy based on the rule of law, the US would deliver the proper punishments to the policemen involved in the case.
Democracy pushes governments to face problems by communicating with their people to stop discrimination and injustice, which is something that does not happen under totalitarian regimes, she said.
Taiwan is opposed to any forms of discrimination, and no nations know better than Taiwan how it feels to be discriminated against and isolated, Ou said.
Hopefully, the international community can take this opportunity to remove all forms of discrimination, injustice, deprivation of human rights and institutionalized violence in different corners of the world, she added.
Photo: Screengrab from the the American Institute in Taiwan’s Facebook page
While the ministry has issued a “red alert” on Sunday warning against travel to those US states most affected by the protests, “No incidents of Taiwanese living in the US being injured due to the protests had been reported,” she said.
The ministry commemorated the 31 anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre by publicizing enlargements of photographs taken in the square and nearby on June 4 and 5, 1989, including one of the iconic “tank man.”
“It [June 4] risks becoming a forgotten date, given all the efforts that the Chinese Communist Party has made to cover it up, but it should never be forgotten. No sweat and blood in the pursuit of freedom and democracy should ever be forgotten,” Ou said.
Asked whether the ministry reacts differently to acts of violence committed by police in Hong Kong and the US, Ou said the two places have responded differently to excessive law enforcement.
The four US policemen allegedly involved in the death of Floyd have been charged with serious crimes, but the Hong Kong government has never pressed charges against its police officers accused of violence, she said.
In addition, countless protesters in Hong Kong have been listed as “suicides,” with police usually concluding there were “no suspicious circumstances,” in their deaths, she added.
“The pursuit of democracy and freedom should not be forgotten. What happened to Hong Kong should not be forgotten. A free Taiwan will back Hong Kong to pursue freedom,” Ou said. “Hopefully, all efforts in the pursuit of democracy and freedom will come to fruition.”
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