Wed, Nov 27, 2019 - Page 3 News List

Tsai, Chen urge international action on HK

By Su Yung-yao and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Vice President Chen Chien-jen, right, shakes hands with members of an Italian parliamentary delegation at the Presidential Office yesterday.

Photo: CNA

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) yesterday told foreign dignitaries that they support a democratic and free Hong Kong, and called for international cooperation on the issue.

Tsai told US representatives Bill Flores and Guy Reschenthaler that Taiwan, due to its geographical location, is at the forefront of democracy in the Asia-Pacific region and a determined ally of the US.

The comments echoed US Vice President Mike Pence’s remarks on Oct. 24 that the US stands by the nation in defense of freedom and democracy.

Hong Kong’s pursuit of democracy and freedom has been repressed by China over these past few months, and the worsening situation in Hong Kong further highlights the importance of a joint Taiwan-US stance on defending democratic values, Tsai said.

Separately, Chen met with a delegation from Italy’s Lega Nord party comprised of Italian Minister of Agriculture and Tourism Gian Marco Centinaio, Italian Senator Tony Chike Iwobi and Italian Chamber of Deputies members Francesca Gerardi, Elechi Lucchini and Alex Bazzaro.

China’s oppression of religious and ethnic minorities has intensified, and its use of violence against Hong Kongers is deplorable, Chen said.

Human rights standards in China today are in a worse state than during the Cultural Revolution, he said, adding that the UN Human Rights Council has called on Beijing to safeguard the religious freedom of its citizens, and guarantee human rights and basic liberties.

Chen called on the Italian delegation to urge China to improve its human rights record, appropriately handle the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong and allow the territory to return to normalcy under the rule of law to maintain regional stability and peace.

Lega Nord, rebranded Lega in last year’s general election, is Italy’s largest right-wing party. It had called for China’s Huawei Technologies Co to be banned outright from supplying equipment for the country’s rollout of 5G mobile communications in February.

This is Centinaio’s second visit to Taiwan. He has not only posted photographs of himself holding the Republic of China flag on Twitter, but has also posted that Taiwan is a democratic country that respects human rights.

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