Hong Kong democracy activists Joshua Wong (黃之鋒), Lester Shum (岑敖暉) and Eddie Chu (朱凱迪) yesterday called on Taiwanese to support the territory’s fight for greater democracy and autonomy by holding a rally before China’s National Day on Oct. 1.
The trio arrived in Taiwan yesterday morning at the invitation of the Light Foundation, and visited the New Power Party (NPP) and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) headquarters in the afternoon.
“The imposition of emergency law in Hong Kong is very likely, and so we urge Taiwanese to show solidarity with Hong Kong by holding a street rally before Oct. 1,” Wong said after a one-hour meeting with DPP officials.
Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times
“We would also like to see people in other countries rally for Hong Kong on a weekend before Oct. 1. It is to let the Beijing government know that although it can shut down the demonstrations in Hong Kong, people around the world are standing in solidarity with us,” he said.
“I feel that Hong Kong and Taiwan are bound together in this struggle, that we are facing oppression by the same authoritarian regime, the same subjugating force from China. We hope to make changes, for Hong Kong to have democracy and freedom in the future,” he added.
Five years ago, during Hong Kong’s “Umbrella movement” and Taiwan’s Sunflower movement, the slogan was “Hong Kong today, Taiwan tomorrow,” he said.
This time, it is “Today’s Taiwan, for tomorrow’s Hong Kong,” he said.
“We hope that Hong Kong will one day become like Taiwan today, a place with democracy and freedom,” he said.
China will be celebrating the 70th anniversary of its founding on Oct. 1, said Chu, a Hong Kong lawmaker.
“This is the bottom line for the Beijing government; it will not allow any further protests beyond Oct. 1,” he said.
“China could clamp down, preventing Hong Kong’s democracy movement from going past Oct. 1, so it is necessary for us to stay together to reach that date, and we hope Taiwanese can help us hold on and continue the movement beyond that date,” he said.
The DPP said it would support activities organized by civil groups in Taiwan to express solidarity with Hong Kongers.
“If our friends in Hong Kong encounter an emergency that requires assistance from Taiwan, our current law has the leeway to provide forms of assistance,” DPP Deputy Secretary-General Lin Fei-fan (林飛帆) said.
“We also support the government strengthening laws governing relations with Hong Kong and Macau, which could be needed as a legal basis to assist the people of Hong Kong during emergency situations,” Lin added.
Earlier in the afternoon, following a closed-door meeting with NPP Chairman Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明), Legislator Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) and caucus director Chen Hui-min (陳惠敏) at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei, Wong reiterated his call for the Taiwanese government to provide political asylum to Hong Kongers in need.
Huang said that the NPP would continue to push for the passage of a refugee act and amendments to the Act Governing Relations with Hong Kong and Macau (香港澳門關係條例).
Provisions on political asylum in the act are overly simple and will require more details on how it can be applied to individuals, Huang added.
At a cross-caucus negotiation, the NPP will push for the legislation and amendments, as well as propose issuing a joint resolution expressing support for Hong Kong’s pro-democracy campaigns, Hsu said.
The Hong Kong activists took part in a discussion forum in Taichung last night.
They are to head back to Taipei today to take part in another democracy discussion before leaving for Germany and the US.
They are to return to Hong Kong on Sept. 23.
Additional reporting by CNA
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS: Several of the PLA fighter jets that crossed the median line of the Strait came within 68km of Hsinchu, drawing warnings from Taiwan, the ministry said At least 18 Chinese military aircraft yesterday flew into the nation’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on the second day of a US delegation’s visit, the Ministry of National Defense said, adding that the military responded by deploying an air defense missile system to monitor their activities. A delegation led by US Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Keith Krach on Thursday started a three-day visit to Taiwan. The ministry from Thursday started publicizing the actions of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in Taiwan’s ADIZ on its Web site and Twitter. According to ministry reports, 18 PLA aircraft
TWO CASES: The five allegedly conspired with conglomerates, threatening the nation’s governance and subverting the rules of ethical conduct, a deputy chief prosecutor said Taipei prosecutors yesterday charged three legislators and one former lawmaker with contravening the Anti-Corruption Act (貪污治罪條例) in a case linked to former Pacific Distribution Investment Co (太平洋流通) chairman Lee Heng-lung’s (李恆隆) battle with the Far Eastern Group (遠東集團) over ownership of the Pacific SOGO Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨) chain, while independent Legislator Chao Cheng-yu (趙正宇) was indicted in a separate case involving two funeral services companies and a plot of land in a national park. Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators Chen Chao-ming (陳超明) and Sufin Siluko (廖國棟), Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Su Chen-ching (蘇震清) and former New Power Party legislator
PENGHU INSPECTION: Taiwan cannot let its enemies strut around in its airspace, Tsai said, one day after a Chinese spokesman denied a median line exists in the Taiwan Strait Following China’s assertion on Monday that there is no “median line” in the Taiwan Strait, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday pledged to defend the nation’s airspace during a visit to an air force base in Penghu, saying that Taiwan cannot allow others to flex their military muscle in its territorial airspace. Tsai praised the “heroic performance” of the pilots of the Indigenous Defense Fighters who have been intercepting Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force planes in recent days. “I have a lot of confidence in you. As soldiers of the Republic of China [ROC], how could we let enemies strut
Swedish Member of Parliament Hampus Hagman is pushing for changing the name of the nation’s trade office in Taipei to signal improved relations with “Asia’s perhaps foremost democracy.” Hagman on Wednesday last week proposed renaming the Swedish Trade and Invest Council to “Sweden’s Office in Taipei,” following similar changes by other nations. The Swedish Trade and Invest Council, part of Business Sweden, is owned by the Swedish government and Swedish industry. Taiwan and Sweden share important values such as respect for democracy, human rights, the rule of law and freedom of speech, Hagman said in the motion, adding that the two nations