China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) responded to Taiwan’s support for Hong Kong’s pursuit for democracy, voiced by both President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) and Democratic Progressive Party Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), with a call for Taiwan to respect the “successful implementation of the one country, two systems policy.”
Both the country’s ruling party and opposition leaders commented on Beijing’s decision to rule out open elections in Hong Kong.
The president said at the weekly Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) meeting on Tuesday that democracy and rule of law are Hong Kong people’s core values, and that Taiwanese from all walks of life are concerned about and supportive of Hong Kongers’ calls for democratic elections.
He called on Hong Kong and Beijing authorities to exercise wisdom, tolerate different views and search for consensus through rational conversation and other peaceful means.
Ma said that only then could the public’s anxiety be mitigated and Beijing receive more stable support from the city.
On Facebook, Tsai called the restrictions imposed on the election that had been expected to highlight the territory’s democratic reforms “regrettable and disquieting.”
“Hong Kong is experiencing a political shock that has been rarely seen locally in the past few decades. [People might worry] that the city’s democracy and rule of law, which have been the pride of the Hong Kong people, will slowly be clouded by the shadow of the birdcage,” Tsai wrote.
She said that many young Hong Kongers came to the Legislative Yuan in March and April to show their support for the Sunflower movement, while more stood by the protesters and students via the Internet.
“Hong Kong’s destiny and future has Taiwanese nationals’ full attention and the pursuit of democracy and freedom is a value shared by both groups,” she said. “The seed of democracy never dies; it is simply buried in the soil, hibernating. And we are now witnessing, from the city’s young generation, the possibility and vibe that could induce change to Hong Kong.”
TAO spokesperson Ma Xiaoguang (馬曉光), when asked in Beijing about Taiwan’s response to the situation, said Beijing would expect Taiwan to respect Hong Kong’s political development and the successful implementation of the “one country, two systems” policy.
He stressed that it “would not help win people’s hearts” when “a minority of people” tried to make an issue of it to “tarnish the one country, two systems policy, damage Hong Kong’s stability and prosperity and hamper the development of the cross-strait relationship.”
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