The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday released a strongly worded statement condemning the use of force against participants of the “Jasmine Revolution” in China.
Chinese authorities have cracked down hard on the sporadic protests, inspired by the protest movement sweeping much of North Africa and parts of the Middle East, rounding up dozens of activists and human rights lawyers last month amid calls for protests in as many as 18 major Chinese cities.
The DPP’s statement came one day after Premier Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) said Beijing should embrace democratic reform.
In the DPP statement, the party said Taipei should use the government’s promotion of cross-strait ties to incorporate values of democracy and human rights into agreements with Beijing to encourage “China’s democratic transformation.”
“We ask that the government support the Chinese pro--democracy activists with -substantive -measures. It would show Taiwan’s firm resolve to uphold the values of democracy, freedom and human rights,” the statement read.
These ideals are “universal values and should not be taken lightly,” it said.
“China has signed the two international human rights covenants … but continues to make these violations of human rights and impose restrictions on speech,” it added.
Beijing has signed, but not ratified, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
Taiwanese government officials, including Wu, on Tuesday spoke in favor of political reform for China, but have stopped short of criticizing Beijing’s crackdown on protesters and the media.
Wu told the legislature that despite China’s economic rise, “it still had much room for improvement in aspects of freedom, human rights, democracy and judicial [independence],” adding that China should meet the protests “more positively.”
The DPP statement followed earlier remarks by DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Feb. 21, who called on Taiwan to give more attention to the “Jasmine Revolution” in China, calling democracy a “safety net” for Taiwan in its dealings with Beijing.