Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou on Friday urged China to honor its commitment to implement democratic reforms in Hong Kong and asked Beijing to move toward a more democratic style of governance, according to media reports.
On Taiwan’s National Day, Ma said that Beijing should “convert crisis into opportunity” by implementing democratic reforms in Hong Kong. “It would definitely be a win-win scenario for both the mainland and Hong Kong, and would be strongly welcomed by the people of Taiwan,” he reportedly said.
Ma reportedly reiterated his “strong support” for the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong, and said that “democracy and rule of law” are the “right of all humankind.”
"Now that the 1.3 billion people on the mainland have become moderately wealthy, they will of course wish to enjoy greater democracy and rule of law," he reportedly said.
Taiwan, which has been under self rule since splitting from the mainland in 1949 and has enjoyed full universal suffrage since 1996, has witnessed a number of solidarity demonstrations for Hong Kong’s weeks-long pro-democracy movement, according to media reports.
“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 reportedly said. “So why couldn't they do the same thing in Hong Kong, and let some people go democratic first?”
Growing worries about Beijing’s influence over Taiwan and Hong Kong have reportedly drawn the two sides closer. China has, in the past, repeatedly urged Taiwan to agree to a “one country, two systems” deal similar to Hong Kong, which Taiwan has consistently rejected.