Security officers keep watch at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China. File photo/ Reuters
China must “sincerely repent” for the bloody crackdown of pro-democracy demonstrators on and around Tiananmen Square three decades ago and promote democratic reforms, Taiwan’s government said on Monday ahead of the sensitive anniversary.
Tuesday marks 30 years since Chinese troops opened fire to end the student-led unrest. Chinese authorities ban any public commemoration of the event on the mainland and have never released a full death toll. Estimates from human rights groups and witnesses range from several hundred to several thousand.
“China has to sincerely repent for the June 4 incident and proactively push for democratic reforms,” Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council said in a statement.
The council said Beijing had been telling “lies” to cover up the events of 1989 and “distorting” the truth.
There was no immediate response from Beijing. China claims self-ruled and democratic Taiwan as its sacred territory.
Beijing has increased government suppression of rights activism, pushing the demonstrators’ original goals further away than ever.
“Taiwan will continue to point to the direction of democracy for mainland China,” the council said, adding that it would support China’s move to democracy “in all manner of ways.”
Chinese Defence Minister Wei Fenghe on Sunday defended Beijing’s handling of Tiananmen, saying the government “was decisive in stopping the turbulence”, a rare official acknowledgement of the events of June 4.
Beijing suspects President Tsai Ing-wen and her ruling Democratic Progressive Party of pushing formal independence for Taiwan, a red line for China. Tsai repeatedly says she wants to maintain the status quo but vows to defend the island’s democracy.
China’s accelerated military modernisation poses a clear and growing threat to Taiwan, and US intervention might only risk intensifying pressure from Beijing, US defence officials say. Washington’s top US military officer in Asia-Pacific Admiral Philip
The KMT ruled China before retreating to Taiwan at the end of a civil war with the Communists in 1949. While ties across the Taiwan Strait have improved dramatically in the last three decades, Beijing continues to claim Taiwan as its own territory.
Chef Hung Ching Lung has given a sweet and sour twist to Taiwan's classic beef noodle soup.
China, which claims democratic Taiwan as its own territory, has increased its military activity around the island in recent months, responding to what Beijing calls “collusion” between Taipei and Washington, Taiwan’s most important international backer.
Contacts between Riyadh and Damascus had gathered momentum following a landmark agreement to re-establish ties between Saudi Arabia and Iran, a key ally of President Bashar Al-Assad, a regional source aligned with Damascus said.
Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal Bin Farhan Bin Abdullah made a phone call to his Iranian counterpart, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, in which they exchanged congratulations and blessings on the occasion of the blessed Month of Ramadan.
In London, for the first time, Ramadan will be celebrated with a light display in central London, in Piccadilly Circus, no less.