President Tsai Ing-wen has sent her deepest condolences to the family of the Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo. Liu died of liver cancer on Thursday afternoon at the age of 61.
Liu had been serving an 11-year prison sentence for drafting a petition calling for an end to one-party rule in China. He had been granted medical parole after being diagnosed with late-stage liver cancer.
In a Facebook post, President Tsai said the “Chinese Dream” touted by Communist Party chief Xi Jinping should not be in military might but should have incorporated Liu’s dream of democracy. She said every Chinese person should be allowed to enjoy freedom and dignity. In this way China can be a country of which everyone can be proud, she said.
Tsai quoted Liu's optimism about a future China that is free because "no force can stop human nature's desire for freedom."
Tsai said she hopes China will introduce political reforms to allow the country’s people to enjoy freedom and democracy, and to open new opportunities for cross-strait relations.
Tsai said Taiwan is willing to help if China's dream is to become a democratic country.
In her post, Tsai wrote that Liu had no enemies, because democracy has no enemies. Tsai paid tribute to Liu’s lifelong ideals and persistence.
Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel peace prize in 2010 for his lifetime of peaceful advocacy for political reforms in China. The Chinese government has been criticized for not releasing Liu until he was close to death. Several of Liu’s activist friends have called his death an act of murder on the part of the authorities. After Liu’s passing, attention has turned to the situation of his widow, Liu Xia, who has been held under unofficial house arrest while her husband was in prison.