News / Asia

Chinese Dissident Cites Tiananmen in Praising Taiwan Democracy

Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng gives a speech on "Human Rights and Cross-Strait Peace" at Taiwan Parliament in Taipei, June 25, 2013.
Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng gives a speech on "Human Rights and Cross-Strait Peace" at Taiwan Parliament in Taipei, June 25, 2013.
Reuters
Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng said on Tuesday that the pushing and shoving that comes with Taiwan's raucous democracy was superior to “having tanks going rampant on the streets and squares," referring to China's 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown on protesters.
 
Chen, who was invited to Taiwan by a human rights group, sparked a diplomatic crisis between the United States and China after he fled house arrest in China and sought refuge at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.

He has been a research fellow at New York University Law School since he flew to the United States in May 2012. Chen has accused NYU of bowing to Chinese pressure to ask him to leave. On Monday, he refused to shed light on the issue.
 
“Taiwan's experience is a valuable asset. A good use of it could let China get rid of dictatorship and walk on the path to democracy more easily,'' Chen told reporters.
 
“It's better to have pushing and shoving in a parliament hall than having tanks going rampant on the streets and squares.''
 
He said civil awareness in China had risen a lot and China today was like Taiwan in the early 1980s, laying down the basis for democracy.
 
China had warned Chen to mind his language and protect China's “dignity'' on his visit to self-ruled Taiwan, which Beijing claims as its own and insists must unite with the mainland, by force if necessary.
 
Chen, who has been blind since childhood, is a self-schooled legal advocate who campaigned against forced abortions. He was jailed for four years on charges that he and his supporters said were spurious, and then held in his village home for 19 months after being released.
 
Public discussion of the Tiananmen Square crackdown is still taboo in China, where on June 3 and June 4, 1989, its leaders ordered troops to open fire on demonstrators and sent in tanks to crush a student-led campaign movement, killing hundreds.
 
China and Taiwan have been ruled separately since defeated Nationalist forces fled to the island in 1949 after losing a civil war with the communists.
 
When asked about Chen's comments, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said: “Every Chinese citizen has the duty and responsibility to abide by China's constitution and law, and should not say or do things that harm China's national interests.''
 
Taiwan began dismantling the structures of decades of iron-fisted rule by Nationalist dictator Chiang Kai-shek in the 1980s, allowing the formation of new political parties and replacing appointed politicians with elected ones.
 
The reforms spawned a feisty brand of democracy. It is common for lawmakers to shout and punch their way through parliament sessions while voting and approving laws.
 
Taiwan regularly plays host to people China despises, including exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama. It is also home to two leaders of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests who escaped China - Wang Dan and Wu'er Kaixi.
 
On Tuesday, about 30 to 40 lawmakers shoved each other in parliament while arguing over a cross-straits services agreement. A legislator from the opposition Democratic Progressive Party, a man, grabbed the arm of a female legislator from the Nationalist Party, who started crying.

You May Like

Photogallery Pistorius Sentenced, Taken to Prison

Pistorius, convicted of culpable homicide in shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, will likely serve about 10 months of five-year sentence, before completing it under house arrest More

UN to Aid Central Africa in Polio Vaccinations

Synchronized vaccinations will be conducted after Cameroon reports a fifth case of the wild polio virus in its territory More

WHO: Ebola Vaccine Could Be in Use by January

WHO assistant director Dr. Marie Paule Kieny says clinical trials of Ebola vaccines are underway or planned in Europe, US and Africa More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid