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May 29, 2017

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MAC calls on Beijing to take responsibility for '89 crackdown

The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) yesterday called on Beijing to face the Tiananmen Square Protests of 1989 with sincerity, and to use that as a force for greater reform.

 June 4 marks the 25th anniversary of the student-led protests, which resulted in a bloody crackdown. Beijing's official position is that the demonstration, which has consistently remained a taboo subject in mainland China since 1989, was a counter-revolutionary riot.

The tragedy cannot be forgotten, and it is only by facing history that wounds can be healed, the MAC said.

Beijing has repeatedly said that it intends to implement widespread reform, MAC said, urging the mainland Chinese authorities to learn from history.

Beijing needs to display a willingness to be responsible and a willingness to facilitate reconciliation, in addition to offering better treatment of the victims of the 1989 crackdown and their family members, the MAC said.

Beijing also needs to respect diverse social opinions as well as protect dissenters and human rights activists, in order to fulfill the promises it made in its human rights whitepaper, and in order to strengthen civil rights on the mainland for the sake of a better political and social environment, the MAC said.

Increasing the wellbeing of the people is a core value and shared goal in the development of cross-strait ties, the MAC said.

Over the past six years, the government has promoted the values of democracy, freedom, human rights and the rule of law in its communications with the mainland Chinese authorities, the MAC said, adding that Taiwan is more than willing to continue sharing its experience with mainland China.

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