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Taiwan urges 'rational' solution to Chinese rights issues

TAIPEI -- Given the rapid growth of China's economic strength, it is time for Beijing to “rationally” handle issues of social justice, judicial integrity and human rights, a top Taiwanese official in charge of cross-strait affairs said Thursday.

Wu Mei-hung, deputy minister and spokeswoman of the Mainland Affairs Council, made the entreaty a day after a Chinese court began the trial of Chinese anti-corruption activist Xu Zhiyong on charges of “gathering a crowd to disrupt public order.”

Wu said Taiwan has long been concerned about human rights conditions in China and looks forward to seeing future progress in promoting judicial impartiality, social justice and human rights protection there.

“We will also continue carrying out various cross-strait exchange programs in the hopes of boosting civic society development in mainland China so as to create an environment favorable for cross-strait rapprochement,” Wu said.

The 40-year-old Xu, a lawyer-turned-activist, is being tried for his part in calling on officials to disclose their assets. He has earned a national reputation for pushing for social change on the edges of the communist system.

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