Ex-president urges China to act like ‘successor’ of Sun Yat-sen

Taiwan’s former President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) urged Beijing to act like a true successor to Sun Yat-sen (孫中山), the founder of the Republic of China, by promoting peace and democracy, at an event held Thursday by an association dedicated to the advocacy of Sun’s “Three Principles of the People.”

Speaking at the event, which took place at the headquarters of the opposition Kuomintang in Taipei, Ma noted that Taiwan and China held commemorative events respectively in November to mark the 150th anniversary of Sun’s birth.

At the event in China, Chinese President and General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Xi Jinping (習近平) described party members as firm supporters, loyal collaborators and the most faithful successors of Sun’s revolutionary spirit.

“The best way we can commemorate Sun Yat-sen is to learn and carry forward his invaluable spirit, to unite all that can be united and mobilize all that can be mobilized, in an effort to continue to pursue the rejuvenated China of which he dreamed,” Xi said in a speech on Nov. 11.

Born in 1866, Sun was the founder of the KMT. As a revered revolutionary leader, he founded the ROC in 1912 after playing a pivotal role in overthrowing imperial rule in China.

Sun is known for his “Three Principles of the People,” a political philosophy aimed at making China a free, prosperous and powerful nation. The three principles are often summarized as nationalism, democracy and the livelihood of the people.

At Thursday’s event, Ma said that the ROC has practiced Sun’s ideals for more than 60 years.

Commenting on Xi’s remarks, Ma said he welcomed China’s willingness to call itself a successor of Sun, but urged Beijing to act like a true successor by seeking peaceful and democratic approaches.

China has made great strides in economic development over the past 30 years but that is not enough, because people also want to be allowed to freely express their opinions on public policy, Ma said.

How to realize Sun’s principle of “Minquan,” which refers to “people power,” remains a big challenge for China, Ma added.

It would be good if Taiwan and China both practice the “Three Principles of the People,” he said.

The KMT-led government of the ROC retreated to Taiwan in 1949 after losing the civil war to the Chinese communists. In the same year, the People’s Republic of China was founded on mainland China.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel

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