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President Tsai salutes people on anniversary of martial law's end

2017/07/15 19:44:35

From President Tsai Ing-wen's Facebook page

Taipei, July 15 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said on Saturday she wanted to salute the Taiwanese people on the 30th anniversary of the ending of martial law, saying they are the driving force behind Taiwan's progress toward democracy.

She also expressed the hope in a Facebook post marking the occasion that one day, the incessant wrangling between parties could end and people could think about the nation's future from a Taiwan-centric position.

Martial law was imposed on May 19, 1949 in Taiwan and lifted by President Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國) on July 15, 1987.

"On the same day 30 years ago, Taiwan finally broke away from the martial law rule of the Kuomintang, and made a major step toward freedom and democracy," she said.

For so long, some have habitually attributed Taiwan's democracy to the former President Chiang, but "I think today, the 30th anniversary of the ending of martial law, one should focus on the Taiwanese people," the president said.

The president mentioned two pictures, which she said were recorded by "519 Green Action," a political campaign launched by political activist Nylon Cheng (鄭南榕) and others to call for an end of martial rule.

She said that in the two pictures and many other historical images from the Tangwai (meaning outside the KMT party) campaign, there were many people with their backs to the camera.

They may have been truck drivers, teachers or factory workers, or small businessmen, Tsai wrote. "Probably no one was able to tell their names, but it was them who have pushed Taiwan's democracy forward," she said.

"Today is the time to salute the great Taiwanese people, and this is my faith. Only by believing that people are the driving force to move the nation forward can Taiwan's democracy continue to move forward," the president said.

Tsai also outlined her vision for Taiwan's democracy, hoping for more emerging local forces to participate in democratic politics and for Taiwan's civil society to grow to create a healthier model of exchanges between political parties and civil groups.

She also hoped that all political parties in Taiwan could think about the future from a Taiwan-centric position, she said.

"In the first 30 years, we have used tremendous courage to show to all that democracy is not a monster. In the next 30 years, we will use the same courage to create a political environment in which Taiwanese people will not have to worry about the disappearance of a Taiwan-centric base regardless of who is elected president," she said.

"This is the responsibility of our generation to Taiwan," she said.

(By Sophia Yeh and Lilian Wu)
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