KMT criticizes handling of extradition protests

By Ann Maxon  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Jul 03, 2019 - Page 3

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) yesterday criticized the way Hong Kong’s government has handled protests against an extradition bill, saying that Beijing’s “one country, two systems” arrangement has failed in the territory.

Over the past several weeks, people in Hong Kong have staged multiple peaceful protests, exercising their right to rally and demonstrate, the party said in a statement.

The KMT said it hopes that Hong Kongers would remain rational, but it “does not agree with the radical manner in which the local government handled the demonstration.”

The Hong Kong government and the people should adhere to the spirit of democracy and continue to communicate to resolve their differences, it added.

KMT Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) has previously said that increased demonstrations against the extradition bill had shown that Beijing’s commitment to carry out its “one country, two systems” arrangement were “empty words,” the party said.

“The ‘one country, two systems’ arrangement has indeed failed in Hong Kong,” it said. “The party definitely does not support the arrangement.”

The KMT’s stance is far clearer that President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) policy of “maintaining the ‘status quo,’” it added.

“One China, with each side having its own interpretation of what China means” should form the foundation for maintaining the nation’s survival and for ensuring peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, it said.

Former New Taipei City mayor and KMT presidential campaigner Eric Chu (朱立倫) said that the demonstrations against the extradition bill “will definitely impact Taiwan’s presidential election.”

The Democratic Progressive Party is expected to make Taiwan’s sovereignty and development a key issue during its election campaign next year, he added, adding that Tsai has been incorrectly connecting the so-called “1992 consensus” with “one country, two systems” following Chinese President Xi Jinping’s (習近平) address regarding China’s unification policy in January.

Asked to comment on the clash between police and protesters occupying the Hong Kong Legislative Council, Chu said that he opposes authoritarianism and supports freedom and democracy.

The Hong Kong government must respect the will of the people and hopefully the matter could soon be resolved peacefully, he said.

“I believe it was wrong for the Hong Kong government to use weapons on its people and it should be condemned for doing that,” Hon Hai Precision Industry Co founder Terry Gou (郭台銘) said separately.

He was the first of all KMT presidential primary candidates to say that the “one country, two systems” arrangement has failed in Hong Kong, Gou said, adding that he hopes Hong Kong could continue to be free and prosperous.

Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), who is also vying for the party’s nomination, said that he respects Hong Kong’s democracy and rule of the law, and understands young people’s longing for democracy.

Additional reporting by CNA