Taipei, Oct. 16 (CNA) China should appreciate the goodwill of Taiwan as evident in President Ma Ying-jeou’s touching on Hong Kong in his National Day address, a spokesman for the ruling Kuomintang said Thursday.
Charles Chen was responding to China’s criticism of Ma’s strong support in his address for the protesters in Hong Kong in their demand for genuine universal suffrage.
Fan Liqing, a spokeswoman for the Taiwan Affairs Office under China’s State Council, said a day earlier that the direct election of Hong Kong’s chief executive in in 2017 represents a big stride in Hong Kong’s political system and that Taiwan should refrain from commenting on the issue.
Fan said that China responded on Oct. 10 — the day of Ma’s speech — that “we are firmly opposed to” remarks on China’s political system and Hong Kong’s political reforms.
Fan reiterated that “both sides of the Taiwan Strait have chosen different courses of political development. We respect Taiwan’s choice of its social system and way of life, and we have no intention of commenting on what impact its political development will have on social and political stability and economic development. But we hope Taiwan can respect the choice and pursuit of the 1.3 billion people in the mainland.”
Chen reiterated that democracy is the core value of Taiwan’s society and that the party is greatly concerned about and supports the appeals for Hong Kong democracy through peace and rationality.
Chen said that Ma’s words were his suggestion in consideration of global democratic trends, and that the president is convinced that Chinese people are capable of implementing democracy.
Ma’s remarks were by no means speaking irresponsibly and China should appreciate Taiwan’s goodwill, he added.
Chen said the KMT hopes the Chinese authorities can understand the protesters’ deep aspiration toward universal suffrage and will be willing to let “some people become democratic first.” This, he said, “would definitely be a win-win scenario for both the mainland and Hong Kong, and would be strongly welcomed by the people of Taiwan.”
Ma said that it is time for China to move toward a constitutional democracy, arguing that an increasingly well-off population naturally expects to have more political freedom.
Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council, the country’s top body in charge of policy toward China, has expressed a similar view.
(By Kelven Huang, Lawrence Chiu, Ying Chun-chieh and Lilian Wu)