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President Ma urges Beijing to learn from Tiananmen Square

President Ma urges Beijing to learn from Tiananmen Square Incident

President Ma Ying-jeou called on Beijing June 4 to learn from the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests and improve human rights and democracy on the other side of the Taiwan Strait.

Addressing the injustices suffered by the victims of the incident and their families would bring mainland Chinese authorities closer to the people and be welcomed by the international community, Ma said in a statement commemorating the 23rd anniversary of the incident.

According to Ma, Beijing is now better positioned to pursue a more democratic and open society offering improved economic opportunities and living conditions for the people.

This development coincides with increasing access to the Internet, which allows billions of mainland Chinese to keep abreast of events such as the Presidential Election in Taiwan and struggles of blind human rights advocate Chen Guangcheng, he added.

Mainland Chinese authorities should answer the people’s calls for greater political participation as this will help deliver greater stability and bridge the gap between the two sides of the strait, Ma said.

The president also expressed the hope that civic groups in mainland China and Taiwan could build on their shared culture to exchanges views on protecting human rights and democracy.

Echoing Ma’s remarks, the Mainland Affairs Council issued a statement the same day calling on Beijing to mend fences with the people using determination, tolerance and wisdom.

“This is an important indicator of political reform,” the MAC said, adding that Beijing should establish a democratic and peaceful mechanism to address challenges and confrontations stemming from economic and social development.

The Tiananmen Square incident took place in Beijing between April 15 and June 4, 1989. Large numbers of student-led protestors, who called for economic reform, easing of restrictions on the media and greater political freedom, were dispersed by units from the People’s Liberation Army resulting in an unknown number of casualties.

ENDS

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