Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday said that the Chinese government should honestly face the reasons behind Hong Kong’s continuing protests.
Ko made the remark at Taipei City Hall when fielding questions from the media on a shooting incident that occurred in Hong Kong on Tuesday.
Video recorded by Hong Kong student reporters showed a police officer shooting a pro-democracy protester at close range in the Tsuen Wan area, after a police unit was attacked by protesters wielding poles and umbrellas.
Photo: Tu Chien-jung, Taipei Times
The Hong Kong Police Force later confirmed that a 18-year-old man was shot near the left shoulder and hospitalized.
Ko said when he heard about the incident, his first reaction came from his background as a surgeon — asking where the student was shot and if he is in a critical condition.
“A student shot by a police officer sounds very sensational, but of course we are concerned about the student’s health and safety,” Ko said.
“Thank goodness we heard that he is not in a critical condition, but if these clashes continue, an accidental shooting will be hard to avoid,” he said.
“This is really dangerous. Just think about it, if the student had been shot dead, the news would certainly make headlines around the world,” he said, adding that Beijing still has to face the real problems in Hong Kong, because there must be resentment in these young people that drives them to the streets.
Ko said high real-estate prices and rents in Hong Kong have led to exploitation, so Taiwan should also be aware of its rising housing prices and rents.
Hong Kong democracy campaigner Joshua Wong (黃之鋒) yesterday afternoon posted a screenshot of a TV news report about Ko’s remarks, and wrote that “using the term accidental shooting to describe Hong Kong police’s intended killing is an insult to the student that was shot.”
“The student is still hospitalized and in a critical condition,” Wong wrote. “Mayor Ko, you owe him an apology.”
He said Hong Kong is facing a serious humanitarian crisis and that the difficulty they are facing is also for demonstrating to the world that Beijing’s “one country, two systems” formula is one of the greatest lies of the century.
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