Hong Kong activist Ray Wong (黃台仰), who is visiting Taiwan to seek allies for Hong Kong’s independence movement, yesterday urged Taiwan to connect with people suppressed by China and to not to give up the goal of independence, despite the relative freedom the nation enjoys.
“Although Taiwan is the freest and most democratic Chinese-speaking nation, it cannot afford to be complacent about its status amid China’s threats, which could cause Taiwan to fall under [China’s] authoritarian rule,” Wong told a news conference in Taipei organized by the pro-independence Taiwan Radical Wings party.
Wong, a spokesman of pro-independence group Hong Kong Indigenous who is facing charges over his involvement in the territory’s “fishball revolution” in February, could become the Hong Kong independence movement’s first prisoner if convicted.
Photo: Huang Yao-cheng, Taipei Times
Over the past two weeks, Wong has visited Taiwanese independence advocates Su Beng (史明) and Chang Tsan-hung (張燦鍙) and held talks with pro-independence groups.
Taiwan, despite its relatively independent status, is in the same boat as Hong Kong, Tibet, Xinjiang and Inner Mongolia, which are subject to China’s suppression, and it is critical to form an alliance against the Chinese threat, Wong said.
“Hong Kong is a good example for Taiwan. If Taiwan cannot stand firm against China, it might not escape China’s claws,” he said.
Although Beijing promised a high degree of autonomy for Hong Kong under the “one country, two systems” framework, the territory has seen dramatic changes under China’s governance, which gave rise to pro-localization protests, including the “Umbrella movement” in 2014 and this year’s “fishball revolution,” he said.
Wong and fellow activist Edward Leung (梁天琦) founded Hong Kong Indigenous to promote Hong Kong’s independence and organize protests following the “Umbrella movement” and a campaign opposing China’s school curriculum revisions — protests that, according to Wong, failed because they were too peaceful.
“It is impossible to seek freedom in the established system, because China has deprived Hong Kong of political autonomy. Freedom cannot be attained without Hong Kong being separated from China,” he said.
“There is not much time left [before the ‘one country, two systems’ framework expires in 2047]. We can no longer count on peaceful protest,” he said.
More than 40 percent of young people in Hong Kong support independence, suggesting that it is not a dream, he added.
The oppression of people in Hong Kong by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) resembles the persecution of Taiwanese under the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) regime, with the KMT and CCP having teamed up to suppress Taiwan’s democracy, World United Formosans for Independence chairman Chen Nan-tien (陳南天) said.
Taiwan and Hong Kong are in pursuit of the universal values of freedom, democracy and fair elections, and increased interaction between activists from both sides is necessary for independence movements to gather momentum, Chen said.
Taiwan Radical Wings Taipei office convener Ho Chen-hui (何澄輝) said Wong and his generation have shown great courage in the pursuit of democracy, despite Beijing’s military threats.
Asked whether Wong would approach the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) or government officials, Ho said that there was no such plan so far, but added that the DPP did not try to pressure Wong or avoid him, which has been unlike the KMT’s treatment of independence activists.
TAIPEI REACTIONS: Joanne Ou decried China’s ‘gangster diplomacy,’ while MOFA said its Fiji counterpart dealt fairly with the incident and protected the trade office’s rights The world should denounce the actions of Chinese embassy staffers in Fiji against a Taiwanese diplomat during a National Day celebration in Suva, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday as it thanked the Fijian government for its help after the Oct. 8 incident. Two Chinese diplomats tried to force their way into a celebration held by the Taipei Trade Office in Fiji at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva on Oct. 8, and a Taiwanese diplomat who tried to stop them taking photographs suffered a head injury. MOFA spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) told a news briefing that the ministry
The US, Japan and Australia conducted trilateral naval exercises in the South China Sea on Monday, the US Seventh Fleet announced yesterday. It was their fifth joint operations this year in the fleet’s area of operations, it said in a statement. The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain joined the JS Kirisame of the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force and the Royal Australian Navy’s HMAS Arunta. The Arunta’s commanding officer, Commander Troy Duggan, said that Australia was continuing to build on its already close relationship with Japan and the US. “This activity is a valuable and important opportunity for all three nations,”
ONGOING PROBE: A former Military Intelligence Bureau colonel, major general and another colonel, as well as five other people, have been questioned by prosecutors The Taipei District Court yesterday ordered that a retired colonel from the Military Intelligence Bureau (MIB) calling himself Taiwan’s “first special agent” be detained and held incommunicado as part of an ongoing investigation into espionage allegations targeting at least three former bureau officials. The Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office was seeking to detain former MIB colonel Chang Chao-jan (張超然) over his alleged involvement in introducing retired agents to Chinese national security authorities and passing confidential documents to China. Chang’s actions, if proven, would contravene the National Security Act (國家安全法), which carries a prison term of three to 10 years, and the National Intelligence
Seabed waste off the west coast is 1.5 times higher than the global average, with the mouth of the Tamsui River (淡水河) nearly 90 times dirtier, the environmental consultancy IndigoWaters (澄洋環境顧問) said yesterday. The firm in September last year began collaborating with local oceanographers on Taiwan’s first survey of seabed waste off the west coast, collecting 6,000 samples from near the mouths of eight rivers and conducting 215 inspections. Of the samples, 83.3 percent were found to contain trash, the group said. Based on the survey, every square kilometer of seabed had about 121,074 pieces of trash weighing 102kg, IndigoWaters chief executive Yen