Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou supports calls for universal suffrage in Hong Kong, which has been the central issue in the protest actions that has rocked the former British colony in the past few days.
“Taiwan has had universal suffrage for some time, and each time we hold elections many of our Hong Kong friends come to Taiwan to observe the pro-ceedings. We fully understand and support the Hong Kong people’s demand for universal suffrage,” Ma said in a speech at the annual meeting of the World Taiwanese Chambers of Com-merce on Monday in Taipei.
He said that over the past few days, the situation in Hong Kong has attracted worldwide attention, and Taiwan also is deeply concerned about recent developments there.
”As Hong Kong is an extremely important global financial center, any political turmoil that occurs there will impact not only Asia but the entire world. We therefore call on the Chinese authorities to listen carefully to the demands of the Hong Kong people and adopt a peaceful and cautious approach to the current situation,” he added.
Ma also asked residents of Hong Kong to express their views in a peaceful and rational manner.
“We do not wish to see any conflicts,” he said.
“Observers outside Hong Kong hope that it [situation]will gradually move toward democracy,” Ma added.
The president of Taiwan believes that if a system of universal suffrage can be realized in Hong Kong, the former British colony and China itself would benefit.