Wed, Jul 02, 2014 - Page 1 News List

Local activists back Hong Kong rally

By Lee Hsin-fang and Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

A group of pro-localization organizations yesterday issued a joint statement expressing their “indefinite support” for Hong Kong residents’ pursuit of democracy and autonomy.

The groups publicized their support as tens of thousands of Hong Kongers staged a pro-democracy rally yesterday that organizers said could have been the largest since the territory was handed back to China. The march came after nearly 800,000 people voted in an informal referendum to demand an electoral mechanism that allows voters to nominate candidates.

The poll has irked Beijing, which branded it “illegal and invalid.”

At a press conference held in Taipei, Taiwan Society president Chang Yen-hsien (張炎憲) dismissed the “white paper” on Hong Kong issued by Beijing last month, which reiterated China’s claim over the territory under the “one country, two systems” framework.

Chang said the move was against Hong Kong residents’ will to pursue democracy. He also criticized President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) for remaining silent on Beijing’s oppressive Hong Kong policy.

Quoting former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping (鄧小平), who promised that Beijing would grant Hong Kong the same level of freedom which it enjoyed under British colonization until 2047, Chang said Beijing had broken that promise by issuing the white paper, which states that the election of Hong Kong’s chief executive must be held under the “one country, two systems” framework.

Chang said that Beijing’s oppressive ways have been reflected in its bloody crackdowns in Tibet and Xinjiang, and even in its Taiwan policy, as manifested by the Taiwan Affairs Office’s statement that Taiwan’s future should be decided by “all Chinese people.”

Taiwan Association of University Professors deputy chairman Hsu Wen-tang (許文堂) said his association is closely watching the protest movement in Hong Kong and that it plans to stage an event in support of democracy activists there in due course — an opinion shared by Taiwan Society North secretary-general Wang Ssu-wei (王思為), who said that Taiwanese and Hong Kong activists would continue to exchange ideas through existing platforms.

Taiwan Society North president Chang Yeh-Sen (張葉森) said that what China is doing to Hong Kong could very well be what it would do to Taiwan in the future.

The only way to prevent such an unfortunate incident is to say “no” to China, he said.

Additional reporting by AFP

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