Sun, Sep 08, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Hong Konger resettling in Taiwan for democracy

By Chung Li-hua and Rachel Lin  /  Staff reporters

A woman, surnamed Wang, from National Taiwan University holds a placard in Taipei yesterday demanding that Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam formally respond to Hong Kong protesters’ five major demands.

Photo: Lin Hsiao-yun, Taipei Times

Hong Kongers and Taiwanese are forming an increasingly close bond following months of pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong, with more Hong Kongers viewing democracy as a good reason to settle in Taiwan.

Steven Chan, who last month was protesting in Hong Kong streets with his gas mask on, yesterday in Taipei said that he is applying to immigrate to Taiwan.

Saying that he witnessed Hong Kong police violently handling protesters, some as young as 11 or 12 years old, Chan asked: “Would they [young Hong Kongers] not continue to oppose the Beijing and Hong Kong authorities when they grow up?”

“My father fled from China to Hong Kong years ago. He already knew the real face of the Chinese Communist Party,” he said, adding that while his parents worried about his involvement in the protests, they fully supported his move to Taiwan and gave him money from their savings.

Chan said that he decided to resettle in Taiwan after watching the televised news conference held by China’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office on July 29.

He did not take part in the 2014 “Umbrella movement” in Hong Kong, Chan said, because he was biking across Taiwan.

Chan added that he spent six months in Hualien, falling in love with Taiwan.

During the 2016 presidential election in Taiwan, he visited polling stations with some friends.

“Taiwan’s elections can change its own future — even if pro-China politicians are elected, they are likely to be voted out some day,” he said.

Chan expects to move to Taiwan in November and get a residence card by the end of next year, he said, adding that he has picked up some Hoklo (also known as Taiwanese) and can say “I am Taiwanese” now.

Planning to start a bed and breakfast establishment in Hualien, Chan said that he can “help other foreign visitors know Taiwan better and fall in love with the nation.”

Separately, an 18-year-old National Taiwan University freshman, who last month took part in demonstrations in Hong Kong, yesterday in Taipei said that “safeguarding Hong Kong is safeguarding Taiwan.”

Her mother fled from China to Hong Kong and then to Taiwan during China’s Cultural Revolution, the student said, asking only to be identified by her surname, Wang (王).

She harbors special feelings for Hong Kong, as her grandmother and some other relatives still live there, Wang added.

While Beijing and Hong Kong authorities keep smearing the demonstrators, calling them “rioters” for using gasoline bombs, some hawkish protesters have thrown the bombs not to attack the police, but to make the police keep their distance so that they do not arrest more protesters, she said.

Taking the train to Hong Kong International Airport on Sept. 1 for her return flight to Taiwan, transportation was backed up around the airport, Wang said.

Suddenly, a great number of police emerged as the station broadcast system announced that the station was about to shut down, she said, adding that people became very afraid and fled in all directions.

“Hong Kongers become afraid almost anywhere these days,” Wang said. “But the scariest part might be their getting used to living in fear.”

Wang urged Taiwanese to cherish their freedoms and democracy, and to support Hong Kongers by donating resources such as gas masks.

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