Taiwan's leader urges China to free dissidents

AP News
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Posted: Jun 04, 2011 2:26 AM
Taiwan's leader urges China to free dissidents

Taiwan's president says China must respect human rights and make political reforms if Beijing hopes to integrate into the international community.

Ma Ying-jeou also urged China to free its imprisoned dissidents in a statement Saturday marking the 22nd anniversary of Beijing's crushing of the 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democracy movement.

Ma said China's first step toward democracy should be to treat dissidents with leniency and "appreciate their value to society."

Taiwan and China split amid civil war in 1949. Relations have improved markedly under Ma's three-year efforts to engage China economically.