Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Earth Science News .

Subscribe free to our newsletters via your

Taiwan's president calls for democracy in China

by Staff Writers
Taipei (AFP) Jan 1, 2011
Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou on Saturday called for democracy in China, saying the island's experience could serve as a model for the future development on the mainland.

"We hope one day that all descendants of Emperors Yen and Huang will enjoy freedom, democracy and rule of law, as we do here in Taiwan," Ma said in a New Year's address.

"Descendants of Emperors Yen and Huang" is a poetic and politically neutral reference to people who are linguistically and culturally Chinese.

"This is not a far-off dream, because these values have all been realised in Taiwan. They are not exclusive to the West. Taiwan's experience can serve as a reference for the future development of mainland China," Ma said.

He added that the human rights situation in the mainland was a "key yardstick" for the distance between the systems in China and Taiwan.

China wants eventual reunification with Taiwan, even if it has to go to war to bring it about.

Ma was speaking on the first day of year 100 of the calendar in official use in Taiwan.

It counts time from the establishment of the Chinese republic after the collapse of the imperial system in 1911.

The Chinese republic in turn was defeated by communist rebels who set up the people's republic in 1949.

However, surviving elements of the republican government fled to Taiwan, where the republic survives to this day.

earlier related report
Hong Kong democracy icon Szeto Wah dies at 79
Hong Kong (AFP) Jan 2, 2011 - One of Hong Kong's most influential democracy campaigners, Szeto Wah, has died at 79.

Known by many in Hong Kong as Uncle Wah, the veteran activist had been in hospital for several months after being diagnosed with lung cancer.

Recent media reports had suggested his condition was deteriorating rapidly, and he died on Sunday morning.

In a statement Sunday, Hong Kong's chief executive Donald Tsang said he was "deeply saddened" at the death of the outspoken campaigner.

"Passionate about China and Hong Kong, Mr Szeto Wah was devoted in promoting democracy. Upright, industrious and unwavering in the pursuit of his ideals, Mr Szeto earned great respect from across the community," he said.

"He will be dearly missed," Tsang added.

Szeto was re-elected in November as chairman of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China, which routinely criticised Beijing for human-rights abuses and pushed for political reforms in the former British colony.

"I think his greatest achievement was to keep this movement alive and kicking all these years," Martin Lee, a founder of Hong Kong's Democratic Party, told AFP.

"He contributed greatly to that movement," Lee added.

The Alliance was founded less than a month before the Tiananmen Square crackdown in 1989 which saw Chinese troops crush weeks of pro-democracy protests in Beijing, killing hundreds if not thousands of demonstrators.

Szeto formed the Professional Teachers Union in 1973 and was a long-time legislator and key Democratic Party member.

Time Magazine once named him one of the 25 most influential people in Hong Kong, calling him "democracy's foot soldier".

In April, a wheel-chair bound Szeto joined a rally in Hong Kong's glittering financial district against what was described as "political persecution" following the arrest of several Alliance members during an earlier protest.

Hong Kong has maintained a semi-autonomous status since its return to China in 1997, and guarantees civil liberties not seen on the Chinese mainland, including freedom of speech and the right to protest.

Hong Kong's political system consists of directly elected legislators and Beijing-appointed representatives, sparking regular calls for full democracy in the city of seven million.

Share This Article With Planet Earth DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook

Related Links
Democracy in the 21st century at

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Asian 'martyrs' underscore poor year for human rights
Hong Kong (AFP) Dec 30, 2010
In some of 2010's most compelling images, Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi emerged from her home after years in detention and an empty chair marked the absence of Liu Xiaobo from his Nobel prize ceremony. Asia's two human rights martyrs serve as compelling reminders that a region celebrated for its economic vibrancy also harbours some of the world's most intractable and brutal regimes. And des ... read more

Adopted Haitian children fly in to Paris on Christmas Eve

Plane carrying adopted Haitian children arrives in France

Adoptive parents arrive in Haiti to fetch children

Caricom-Australia chide empty promises to Haiti

Ever-Sharp Urchin Teeth May Yield Tools That Never Need Honing

Tablet computers come of age with iPad mania

New Kindle becomes Amazon's all-time best seller

Skype brings video calls to iPhone, iPod, iPad

Growing Hypoxic Zones Reduce Habitat For Billfish And Tuna

Japan to step up mineral exploration in Pacific: report

China's Zijin Mining makes payout over deadly dam collapse

Sand from Bangladesh may boost Maldives

Polar Bears No Longer On Thin Ice

H.K. duck's epic Arctic trip sheds light on migration

Obama gives 'lump of coal' to polar bears: activists

Polar bear status at heart of climate war

S.Korea battles spread of foot-and-mouth, bird flu

'Food Of The Gods' Genome Sequence Could Make Finest Chocolate Better

Organic farming blooms in Serbia

'Plant List' gives boost to conservation effort

Short respite but worst of Australian floods 'not over'

Six Years After The Tsunami Disaster

Australia braces as devastating floods set to worsen

Earthquake shakes Chile, no injuries reported

Bashir says door open to peace in Darfur

West Africa faces dilemma over I.Coast military plan

W.African defence chiefs agree to eject Gbagbo if talks fail

Violence surges in Casamance as peace process stays blocked

Designer Probiotics Could Reduce Obesity

The Ideal Temperature For Keeping Fungi Away And Hunger At Bay

You Are What Your Father Ate

'Living pigment' in rock art discovered

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement