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Taiwan congratulates Liu Xiaobo on winning Nobel Peace Prize

2010/10/08 21:15:37

Taipei, Oct. 8 (CNA) Taiwan's government on Friday congratulatedChinese dissident Liu Xiaobo for winning the 2010 Nobel Peace Prizeand urged the Chinese government to engage in the promotion of humanrights as its economic power grows.

President Ma Ying-jeou said in a press release Friday that Liu'saward was "not only an individual honor but also has great historicalsignificance for the development of human rights in China."

Quoting his own speech of June 4, Ma urged China to treatdissidents with lenience because "it would convince people throughoutthe world that the rise of mainland China contributes not only to thecause of peace, but is also a positive development from thestandpoint of the universal values of freedom, democracy, and humanrights."

Premier Wu Den-yih told reporters that Taiwan and Liu Xiaobo bothpromote freedom and human rights.

"With China's economic development and integration into theworld, the ideals of freedom, the rule of law and human rights willbe accepted by the majority of its people in the future, " hepredicted.

Mainland Affairs Council Chairwoman Lai Shin-yuan said Liu'shonor underlined the importance of human rights as a universal value.

Taiwan "looks forward to China's good faith in promoting humanrights and advancing political reform," she added.

The main opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) called forthe immediate release of Liu and voiced its support for China'sdemocratization.

Political commentator Paul Lin, formerly a Chinese professor whospecialized in the history of China's Communist Party of China andnow a naturalized Taiwan citizen, also praised the award.

"Justice has prevailed. And Liu Xiaobo has now become thenew-generation torchbearer of China's democracy and freedommovement," he said.

Liu's award is indicative of the global trend of most countriesbelieving that a rising and powerful China still needs thoroughreforms, Lin said.

He praised the Norwegian Nobel Committee for upholding the truevalue of the award and fending off Chinese pressure.

"The ball is now back in China's court. Chinese Premier WenJiabao, who pledged political reform, should publicly voice hissupport for Liu, who also called for reform 'within the system'rather than a flat-out revolution. If not, Wen's pledge wasquestionable, " he said.

Lin said he did not expect the Chinese government to release Liuin the near future.

(By Chris Wang)