The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) caucus yesterday tabled an extemporaneous motion on the legislative floor calling on the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) government to issue a formal announcement supporting Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement, as many other countries have already done.
The motion called on the government to release an official statement to support Hong Kong’s pro-democracy demonstrations and denounce the Chinese and Hong Kong authorities, rather than oral remarks made only when questioned.
The DPP caucus said China’s “one country, two systems” has long been held in disdain by Taiwanese, who have direct presidential elections and a democratic system.
“In contrast, the Hong Kong that has been ruled under the so-called principle of ‘one country, two systems’ has risen against the ‘bird-cage-style election’ and called for a ‘real’ one,” it said. “However, their taking to the streets to fight for their basic rights to democracy and freedom has been met with armed police, tear gas and forced dispersion. [We] suggest that our government issue an official announcement voicing support for the actions of Hong Kong’s people and denouncing the governments of the People’s Republic of China and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region for their violent crackdown.”
The motion was passed without opposition, but the legislature’s extemporaneous motions are generally advisory in nature, with no legal effect.
DPP Legislator Yu Mei-nu (尤美女) said that the UK, the US and Japan have all made official statements about Hong Kong’s Occupy Central movement and urged the government to follow their lead because Premier Jiang Yi-huah’s (江宜樺) remarks made in the legislature in Taipei on Monday did not represent the country.
Jiang said he would consider the motion and decide after further discussion with related departments.
DPP Legislator Chen Chih-mai (陳其邁) asked Jiang whether the government has been paying attention to the movements of China’s People’s Liberation Army and the security forces, or is making plans to respond to possible emergencies, such as the evacuation of Taiwanese from Hong Kong.
Jiang’s and a Mainland Affairs Council official’s vague answers prompted criticim from Chen, who accused the Executive Yuan of failing to follow the situation closely.
Chen also criticized Minister of the Interior Chen Wei-jen (陳威仁) for his remarks on Monday calling the events in the territory “Hong Kong’s own business.”
The minister said it had been a “misunderstanding” and added that it is normal for people to voice their opinions, but they should remain rational and “law-abiding.”
When asked by DPP Legislator Gao Jyh-peng (高志鵬) whether he deemed the Hong Kong authorities’ use of tear gas appropriate, Jiang said he would not comment on the policies of another country’s government.
Meanwhile, the DPP held an international press conference in Taipei expressing support for Hong Kongers fighting for democracy in a peaceful manner and calling on the authorities in Beijing to listen to the voices of Hong Kong’s citizens.
Additional reporting by Su Fang-ho
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