Ma urges Beijing to embrace democracy

By Katherine Wei ,The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — The Republic of China has provided the best example of democratic politics, as it tolerates different opinions, prompts communication and resolves disputes, said President Ma Ying-jeou at the Double Tenth National Day celebration yesterday. As with every year, the Double Tenth Day celebration was held in the square facing the Presidential Office. President Ma gave a speech titled: “Being Proud of Democracy, Proud of Taiwan.” Taiwan has long been holding regular presidential and parliamentary elections, and there are as many as 255 legally registered political parties, said Ma. “The central government has seen two party alternations; for a new democracy, this is an important example of how it is upholding democracy.” “The people have expressed their opinions on public issues through the media, the Internet and through assemblies and marches … the ways are numerous and not prohibited in any way. The (actions) are active and common, and provide the people with ample information and deepen policy discussions,” said Ma, who also pointed out that among all Asian nations, the U.S. has listed only Taiwan and Japan as countries “with press freedom” in the Press Freedom Rankings.

Voicing Support for HK Protesters Ma once again brought up his support for the pro-democracy cries for universal suffrage in Hong Kong and called on China to keep the promise it made to the financial hub at the time of the handover 17 years ago. When it comes to cross-strait relations, the so-called “1992 consensus” and “one China, different interpretations” have been the grounds for peaceful developments between mainland China and Taiwan for the past six years. “This is our unwavering stance, and I must remind China that now is the best time for it to embrace democracy … The democratic developments between China and Hong Kong are based on the leaders’ wisdom and acceptance in the face of change,” said Ma. “Why can’t Deng Xiaoping’s famous proposal for some people to get rich first work in Hong Kong, to let some people go democratic first?”