The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday voiced its support for the thousands of students and faculty members from 24 colleges and universities in Hong Kong who are on strike for democracy.
“Democracy is a value that goes beyond borders. Repeatedly, the people of Hong Kong have showed their determination for democracy,” said the DPP’s China Affairs Department director Chao Tien-lin (趙天麟), who is also a lawmaker. “The Hong Kong government and Beijing must listen to the voices of the people, look into their demands seriously, and respond to them positively.”
Chao said that over the past few years, Hong Kongers have shown a strong desire for authentic democracy and direct suffrage for the special administrative region’s chief executive through demonstrations, rallies and marches that drew large numbers of participants, as well as the Occupy Central campaign.
“However, Hong Kong and Beijing authorities did not respond to their demands. Rather, they crushed [Hong Kong] people’s dream for democracy with a white paper on the practice of the ‘one country, two systems’ policy, and the Hong Kong electoral reform program,” Chao said.
“Having traveled on the same road to democracy, the people of Taiwan understand how hard it is, and can feel how the people of Hong Kong feel — dreams of democracy may be repressed, but will not disappear,” he said. “We will continue to show our concern and support for the pursuit for democracy.”
Separately yesterday, in support of the Hong Kong students’ strike for democracy, the Student’s Association of National Tsing Hua University in Hsinchu City said it has undertaken a joint action with several universities natiownide, including National Central University (NCU), National Chung Cheng University, National Sun Yat-sen University and National Taiwan University, to launch an online petition and series of lectures named “Street Seminar on Democracy (街頭民主講堂),” among other activities.
“We will also compile a ‘lazybones pack’ on related information to help Taiwanese students understand the spirit and objectives of the student movement in Hong Kong,” said Hsu Guangcheng (徐光成), president of the Students’ Association at National Tsing Hua University.
“The ongoing boycott is a large-scale movement showing solidarity among several universities in Hong Kong, with an emphasis on Hong Kongers striving for true universal suffrage and democracy,” added Chan Wan-yi (陳蘊兒), vice president of the NCU Students’ Association and herself a student from Hong Kong. “We hope that actions that express our support from Taiwan can be heard by Hong Kong students across the Taiwan Strait, to let them know that they are not alone.”
“The Chinese government has abandoned their promise of ‘democratic governance in Hong Kong,’” Hsu said. “They have neglected the results of the referendum conducted by the people of Hong Kong and turned a blind eye toward calls for true universal suffrage for the chief executive election, refusing to allow the people of Hong Kong to attain the goal of autonomy.”
Hsu said his association has already invited faculty from the school’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences, with classes for the Street Seminar on Democracy scheduled for next week.
The classes are to elaborate on the Hong Kong students’ campaign for democracy, while emphasizing the resolve to defend democracy and freedom in Taiwan, he said.