The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) has asked the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Hong Kong to verify media reports that Taiwanese entering Hong Kong are to be searched, the council said yesterday.
Hong Kong’s Chinese-language Ming Pao yesterday said that the Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department has ordered that the luggage of all people arriving in the territory from Taiwan be searched.
People found carrying items that could be used in pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong would be investigated and barred entry, the newspaper reported.
Photo: Chung Li-hua, Taipei Times
Previously, customs officials only conducted random searches of arriving passengers, but under the new policy, luggage containing items such as masks and helmets would be flagged and those who claim them would be held for questioning, it added.
A Taiwanese man detained in Hong Kong last week had allegedly been transporting leaflets with protest messages, pepper spray and masks, the newspaper said, adding that he was under investigation by counterterrorism officials.
Customs officers at Hong Kong International Airport earlier this month found goggles, gas masks and surgical masks in the luggage of three Taiwanese men arriving in the territory, it said.
The council yesterday said in a statement that it has instructed the office to verify whether there is a comprehensive list of specific items that visitors to the territory are prohibited from carrying in their luggage.
The office would also ask the Hong Kong government to improve notices to the public about changes in policy regarding prohibited items, it said.
Taiwanese who encounter emergency situations and need assistance while in Hong Kong or Macau can call the office at 852-6143-9012 or 853-6687-2557 respectively, the council said.
The Czech Republic’s Senate on Wednesday passed a resolution that supports a possible visit by the senate president to Taiwan. The resolution, initiated by Czech Senator Pavel Fischer, was passed with 50 votes in favor, one against and one abstention. The resolution blasts Beijing for having its Prague embassy send a letter to former Czech Senate president Jaroslav Kubera earlier this year threatening repercussions for Czech businesses if he visited Taiwan. The resolution shows the Senate’s support for a visit to Taiwan by Senate President Milos Vystrcil, accompanied by Czech business representatives, as the visit would be in the diplomatic long-term interests
The government and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday both spoke out against plans by the Chinese government to enact a national security law in Hong Kong. Chinese officials yesterday confirmed that the National People’s Congress would review a bill “on establishing and improving the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to safeguard national security.” The Presidential Office said that the announcement was evidence that the “one country, two systems” framework fundamentally clashes with democratic freedoms. The de-escalation of tensions between Hong Kong and Beijing relies on the Chinese government’s willingness to respond to Hong Kongers’ demands,
STRONGER DEFENSES: The announcement could be considered tacit US support for the nation’s indigenous arms manufacturing program, Joseph Wu told lawmakers Just hours after President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) inauguration on Wednesday, the US Department of State’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced in Washington the possible sale of 18 MK-48 Heavy Weight Torpedoes to Taiwan. Reacting to the announcement, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) yesterday told a meeting of the Legislative Yuan’s Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee that the ministry applauded the US move, which would help to uphold the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA). The TRA states that the US should “provide Taiwan with arms of a defensive character … to maintain the capacity of the US to resist any resort
NPP WARNING: The NPP’s chairman said that a security law proposed by Beijing means it has renounced its promise to maintain ‘one country, two systems’ in HK The Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) yesterday proposed changing the law to provide protection for those seeking political asylum. China at the opening of the National People’s Congress in Beijing on Thursday introduced a draft security law for Hong Kong to ban treason, subversion and sedition, with a review expected next week. TPP caucus whip Jang Chyi-lu (張其祿) said that the party is concerned about democracy advocates in Hong Kong and has taken action to support them. The party has proposed an amendment to Article 18 of the Act Governing Relations with Hong Kong and Macau (香港澳門關係條例), which stipulates that the government can offer