Sat, Aug 10, 2019 - Page 1 News List

Hong Kong Protests: MAC issues alert, warning to avoid HK protest areas

By Chung Li-hua and Chiu Chun-fu  /  Staff reporters

The Mainland Affairs Council logo is displayed at the council in Taipei on Jan. 9.

Photo: Chung Li-hua, Taipei Times

As conflicts between demonstrators and police intensify in Hong Kong, Taiwanese traveling to the territory should avoid visiting demonstration areas, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said yesterday, as it issued a travel alert for the fourth time since June.

Protesters yesterday evening planned to stage a demonstration across from Sha Tin Fun City (沙田娛樂城), while a protest at Hong Kong International Airport is to continue until tomorrow, the council said.

Areas from Edinburgh Place to the Central Government Complex are to see protests this morning, it added.

This afternoon, demonstrations are expected around the Tai Po Tau Bus Terminus (大埔頭總站), the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s Tai Po Kwong Fuk Road off-course betting branch, Morse Park (摩士公園) and Wong Tai Sin Square (黃大仙廣場), it said, adding that protests are planned for tomorrow afternoon at the Maple Street Playground (楓樹街遊樂場) and the Sham Shui Po Sports Ground.

Demonstrations might occur without prior notification, and violent clashes are more likely to happen in the evening and over weekends, it said.

The council advised Taiwanese in Hong Kong to avoid visiting demonstration areas and joining related events, adding that those in need of help can call its emergency hotline at 852-6143-9012.

In related news, the council yesterday called on people to peacefully express their opinions, after the Hong Kong Economic, Trade and Cultural Office in Taipei on Tuesday received a parcel containing a red-painted cloth and joss paper.

A letter with the package said that the office would face the most “radical, violent and irrational action” if the Hong Kong protesters are not appeased soon.

Hackers have obtained the personal information of every staff member at the office, the letter said, adding that the office should beware of the situation’s severity to ensure the safety of its personnel.

Police in Taipei’s Xinyi District (信義) have identified a suspected sender — a student at Providence University in Taichung surnamed Lin (林), whose name was on the parcel.

Lin on Facebook said that his action was meant to condemn the Hong Kong government’s suppression of demonstrators and disregard for those beaten by alleged gangsters in Yuen Long.

Many Taiwanese are angered by the Hong Kong government’s stance, and if the office fails to curb violence, Taiwanese would take action to defend human rights, he wrote.

The council said that it has contacted local police to increase patrols around the office to ensure the safety of its staff.

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