Hong Kong’s push for an extradition law with Beijing could further undermine the territory’s freedoms and rule of law and instil a climate of fear, Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Deputy Minister Chiu Chui-cheng (邱垂正) said on Friday.
Hong Kong, a former British colony, is trying to enact rules that would allow people accused of a crime, including foreigners, to be sent to China for trial.
Opponents of the proposal fear further erosion of rights and legal protections in the free-wheeling financial hub — freedoms that were guaranteed on the territory’s return to Chinese rule in 1997.
Photo: Chung Li-hua, Taipei Times
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam (林鄭月娥) has said that there is a need for arrangements to extradite offenders to China and Taiwan, and other countries that do not have extradition treaties with the territory.
The case of Hong Konger Chan Tong-kai (陳同佳), 20, who is accused of murdering his girlfriend in Taiwan last year before fleeing back to the territory, has been used as an example.
However, Chiu said there is no need for an extradition law.
“It’s very possible that after this [extradition] law, everyone will live in fear,” Chiu said.
He urged the Hong Kong government to heed snowballing public concerns, including those of more than 100,000 people who took to the streets last weekend demanding the proposed laws be scrapped.
Chiu’s comments are perhaps the strongest yet by a foreign official toward the legislation.
There was no immediate response from the Office of the Chief Executive of Hong Kong to his remarks.
The law is seen as a test of the autonomy of Hong Kong, which is ruled under a so-called “one country, two systems” formula that China has also proposed for Taiwan.
The extradition rules come as critics say freedoms have been corroded by Chinese Communist Party leaders after a British journalist was expelled, democratic activists were jailed and barred from contesting local elections, and opposition lawmakers were disqualified from public office.
“Beijing is trying to control Hong Kong completely, and to attack Hong Kong’s democracy and freedoms, so we feel the result is to make people pessimistic about the future,” Chiu said.
DIPLOMATIC MOVES: Beijing is reportedly pressing the state after reports of forming links with Taiwan, while the ministry is also planning to reopen its office in Guam soon A representative office is set to open in Somaliland at the end of this month, at the earliest, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday amid reports that Beijing is sending a diplomatic delegation to the east African country. The ministry on July 1 announced that Taiwan and Somaliland would establish representative offices, following a report by the Somaliland Chronicle Web site. It said at the time that the two nations did not plan to establish formal ties. Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi has instructed close confidants to explore the possibility of “mutual recognition between Taiwan and Somaliland,” the Somaliland Chronicle reported
‘IMMORAL, INSINCERE’: Huang Kun-huei said that Ma was ‘distorting history’ in claiming that Lee Teng-hui laid the foundation for the so-called ‘1992 consensus’ Former Presidential Office secretary-general Huang Kun-huei (黃昆輝) on Saturday rejected former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) claim that former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) had been a proponent of Beijing’s “one China” principle. Lee, who served as president from 1988 to 2000, died in Taipei on Thursday last week. After visiting the Taipei Guest House on Saturday to pay his respects to Lee, Ma posted on Facebook that “28 years ago on this day” Lee hosted a session of the now-defunct National Unification Council, during which he passed a resolution on the “one China” principle. That resolution became the basis of the Chinese Nationalist Party’s
NEW ERA: Taiwan, which has controlled its virus outbreak, now faces the challenge of safely resuming economic exchanges with other nations, Chang Shan-chwen said People should not focus entirely on having zero new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Taiwan, but neglect overall control over the disease situation, Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) specialist advisory panel convener Chang Shan-chwen (張上淳) said yesterday. Chang made the remark at a forum in Taipei discussing the steps Taiwan should take in the post-pandemic era, organized by the Chinese-language magazine Global Views Monthly. Chang, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director-General Chou Jih-haw (周志浩), and Stanford University’s Center for Policy, Outcomes and Prevention director C. Jason Wang (王智弘) each made a presentation, followed by a panel discussion with Chang, Wang and Buddhist Tzu
A Belgian man who tested positive for COVID-19 in Taiwan last week is likely to have contracted the disease in Taipei in late June, National Taiwan University (NTU) College of Public Health vice dean Tony Chen (陳秀熙) said yesterday. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) on Saturday reported that the man, who is in his 20s, came to Taiwan for work on May 3 and tested positive on Wednesday last week as he was about to depart. The man in March reported loss of taste and smell, the center said, adding that he worked in Changhua County, but visited Taipei several times,