Taipei, May 11 (CNA) Human rights activists in Taiwan urged President Ma Ying-jeou on Friday to press China on political reforms when he gives his inaugural speech later this month.
Two recent events in China -- the dramatic escape of blind human rights activist Chen Guangchen from illegal house arrest and a deadly clash between Han Chinese and ethnic Uyghurs in Xinjiang Province -- revealed worsening human rights conditions in the country, local activists said.
"As the beacon of democracy in the Chinese-speaking world, Taiwan needs to weigh in on rights issues to show our commitment to democracy," said Paul Lin, president of the Taiwan Youth Anti-Communist Corps.
He said Ma should press Beijing on the issue of political reforms, and the ideal platform would be Ma's inauguration speech on May 20.
Other rights activists also supported the call by Lin, who was speaking at a press conference prior to his departure for Tokyo to attend the general assembly of the World Uyghur Congress from May 14-17.
Chou Mei-li, chairwoman of Taiwan Friends of Tibet, said the human rights situation in China demands immediate attention.
The self-immolation of Tibetan monks in protest against Beijing's rule is an example of the problem there, she said.
"There is so much suppression in China that is not being noticed," Chou said. "It's an important issue to the global community and we should take part in changing that situation."
(By Lee Hisn-Yin)