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Wu'er Kaixi criticizes Taiwan president's Tiananmen anniversary remarks

DPP slams Ma Ying-jeou for his praise of China's human rights

Wu'er Kaixi criticizes Taiwan president's Tiananmen anniversary remarks

Former Tiananmen student leader Wu'er Kaixi slammed President Ma Ying-jeou's statement on the 20th anniversary of the brutal crackdown yesterday after a failed attempt to return to China through Macau.
Wu'er, who holds Taiwanese nationality after a long stay on the island, arrived in Macau late Wednesday. He said he wanted to surrender to the Chinese representative office in the former Portuguese colony so he could see his elderly father after an absence of 20 years. The Macau authorities refused to let him in, quoting "the maintenance of social harmony" as their reason. The activist spent the night at the airport, refusing to board several flights to Taiwan, until 1:20 p.m. yesterday.
Upon his arrival at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at 3.00 p.m., he strongly criticized President Ma Ying-jeou's statement on Tiananmen released earlier in the day.
Ma praised China for what he called the growing attention it paid to human rights over the past ten years by signing international treaties and publishing a human rights whitepaper.
Wu'er said he "completely, completely did not understand" those words from the president. "Has the right time now arrived to say good words on China's behalf?" he told reporters.
The democracy activist said the fact that he had not been able to see his parents for 20 years showed that China's policies went completely against human rights, Chinese traditions, basic moral virtues, and Taiwanese expectations. He would never give up trying to return to his native country, he told reporters at the airport.
Earlier, Wu'er described Ma's comments as "a very serious mistake" and said he was disappointed during a telephone interview from Macau with cable station Formosa Television. The activist also asked Kuomintang Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung to do him a favor and ask the Chinese Communist Party on his behalf to let him go home. The two parties are scheduled to hold talks next month.
Wu'er was one of the top leaders of the student protests on Beijing's Tiananmen Square, which were put down with brute force on June 4, 1989. He fled to the U.S. and later married a Taiwanese woman and settled in Central Taiwan.
Ma has been criticized for changing his long-term support for the activists after he came to power last year. Critics said his official statement offered only weak support for the victims of Tiananmen.
"This painful part of history has to be faced bravely and cannot be avoided," Ma said in his text.
The opposition Democratic Progressive Party said the change in Ma's attitude was too dramatic, and called for human rights to be included as a topic for future negotiations between Taiwan and China. Beijing should also announce the real number of people who died during the Tiananmen repression, DPP caucus whip Lee Chun-yee said.
Party spokesman Cheng Wen-tsang criticized Ma for dropping his past insistence on justice for the victims, saying he was helping the Chinese government in its bid to escape international pressure.


Updated : 2022-05-29 01:02 GMT+08:00