Taipei, April 21 (CNA) Taiwan urged China Tuesday to respect the universal values of human rights, democracy and freedom and to be more tolerant of its dissidents.
The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC, 陸委會) made the call after the sentencing of author Kao Yu (高瑜) by a court in Beijing to a seven-year jail term for “illegally leaking state secrets to foreigners.”
Kao, 71, has been jailed several times in the past. She was first imprisoned for one year on June 3, 1989 for supporting the Tiananmen Square democracy movement. In November 1994, she was given a six-year jail term for leaking state secrets.
Kao has earned several awards from international organizations, including the Golden Pen of Freedom Award by the World Association of Newspapers in 1995, a journalism award by the Paris-based Reporters without Borders in 1997 and the Courage in Journalism Award in 2005 and 2006 by the Washington D.C.-based International Women’s Media Foundation.
The MAC said that Taiwan has long been concerned about the human rights issue in China and has called on the Chinese authorities to treat its dissidents better and to respond to their appeals rationally.
It added that the government in Taiwan will use every possible channel and opportunity to try to improve civil society on both sides of the Taiwan Strait and to narrow the gap between the two sides in terms of freedom, democracy, human rights and rule of law in order to promote positive development of cross-strait relations.
(By Chou Yi-ling and Bear Lee)
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