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Taiwan's Tsai urges Beijing to face June 4th Incident with open mind

2017/06/04 15:26:50

CNA file photo of President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文)

Taipei, June 4 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has called for Beijing to face what she called the Tiananmen Square Incident -- also called the June Fourth Incident -- of June 4, 1989 with an open mind, and said Taiwan is willing to share with China its experiences in democracy transformation.

Tsai made the call in a Facebook post on Sunday, the day peaceful protesters were killed during a government crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators in Tiananmen Square in Beijing 28 years ago.

On that day, "a group of students and citizens challenged the reality of mainland China," Tsai wrote, saying that their action enlightened a whole generation.

Today, many people in many places ask for democracy through commemorating the June Fourth Incident, Tsai said, particularly the citizens of Hong Kong.

Over the past few years, there have been more and more Hong Kong visitors to Taiwan to "see democracy and freedom," she said. "When there is democracy ahead, no country can walk backward."

Tsai urged Beijing to face June Fourth with an open mind, and suggested that the Chinese authorities redefine the meaning of the incident.

In that regard, Taiwan is willing to share its experiences in democracy transformation so that the pain in the transition to democracy in China can be kept to a minimum, she said.

In her post, Tsai wrote that the Chinese authorities have treated the Tiananmen Square protest of 1989 as a "counter-revolutionary riot" that was suppressed by the military and the police.

She said the 228 Incident and Kaohsiung Incident in Taiwan were once described by the ruling authorities as "riots." However, "reality will become history, and history can provide examples," the president said.

"Mainland China will impress the world if it re-examines the June Fourth Incident," Tsai wrote.

The 228 Incident was an anti-government uprising in 1947 in Taiwan that was violently suppressed by the Kuomintang-led Republic of China government.

The Kaohsiung Incident, also known as the Formosa Indicent, was the result of pro-democracy demonstrations that occurred in Kaohsiung, southern Taiwan, on Dec. 10, 1979. It has been recognized as an important turning point in Taiwan's transition to democracy.

(By Lu Hsin-hui and Elizabeth Hsu)
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