Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou on Friday called on China to move toward a more democratic style of development as he reiterated his strong support for the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong.
As China moves toward greater prosperity, its people will also want more democracy and greater rule of law, Ma said in a speech marking Taiwan’s National Day celebrations.
“Such a desire has never been a monopoly of the West, but it is the right of all humankind,” Reuters quoted him as saying.
Ma used his speech to discuss Taiwan’s own democratic development, indicating that it would never give up its own democracy and rule of law, the report said.
The protests in Hong Kong seeking genuine universal suffrage have stirred concerns in Taiwan that it could share the experience of Hong Kong should the island ever come under Chinese control.
He repeated that he firmly supported the Hong Kong people’s desire to directly and democratically elect their own leader.
Ma said while the democratic system was not perfect, it encouraged dialogue and the resolution of issues.
“Thirty years ago, when Deng Xiaoping was pushing for reform and opening up in the mainland, he famously proposed letting some people get rich first,” Ma said.
“So why couldn’t they do the same thing in Hong Kong, and let some people go democratic first?”
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