Tiananmen Leader Calls Democracy a Prerequisite for Cross-straight Relations

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One of the student leaders from the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests says that democracy should form the basis of cross-trait relations between China and Taiwan. Activist Wang Dan made the comments at an event in Taiwan on Tuesday.

Taiwan and mainland China—closely tied by business interests—maintain a status quo of each insisting there is only one China. But the view of how "China" should be governed differs dramatically on both sides of the Taiwan Strait. In recent years, business has formed the basis for the development of this relationship.

But in Taiwan, democracy activist Wang Dan and standing committee member of the Democratic Progressive Party Luo Wenjia think democracy should serve as a prerequisite for improving cross-strait ties between Taiwan and China.

They spoke at the release of the monthly journal "The Public Intellectual," founded by their Cross Strait Democracy Research Center. They were promoting the journal as a platform for exchange of opinions about democratic development in China.

[Luo Wenjia, DPP Committee Member]:
"When China raises the idea that for cross strait relations to develop the one China policy is a prerequisite, the prerequisite I think Taiwan should bring up is democracy. Democracy on both sides of the Taiwan straight should be a prerequisite for developing of the foundation of future cross strait relations."

Wang Dan was one of the leaders of the student democracy movement on Tiananmen Square in 1989. He feels development of cross strait relations should be based on democracy rather than economics.

[Wang Dan, Democracy Activist]:
"I don't think that the economic field is a common area where both sides of the strait can strive together for development. 2012 and 2013 will especially be filled with risk, in these two years people will be in a state of worry.

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