Saturday, June 4, 2011

Taiwan President calls for release of Liu Xiaobo and Ai Weiwei

Taipei. .- The Taiwanese president, Ma Ying-jeou called on China today, in the 22 anniversary of the massacre in Tiananmen, to release the Nobel Peace Prize Liu Xiaobo, the artist Ai Weiwei and other dissidents as part of a commitment to country's political reform. The early release of Liu Xiaobo, who is serving a sentence of 11 years, and Ai Weiwei, who disappeared after his arrest on April 3, would help improve China's international image and "reduce the psychological distance" with Taiwan, Ma said "The first step towards political reform is to treat dissenters with leniency and appreciate their social contribution," he said in a statement.

For the Taiwanese president, "economic reform must be accompanied by political reform" and China must face his "tainted history" in democracy and human rights. "The reform, however painful, is not a disaster," said Ma, who gave the example of Taiwan's democratization path. The presidential statement on the anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre, which occurred on the morning of June 4, 1989, when China's crackdown on mass protests, killing hundreds or thousands, the figure has not yet been determined-for students calling for democratic reforms.

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