The Executive Yuan is to prepare an action plan to provide humanitarian assistance to Hong Kongers, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday, as Beijing seeks to push through a national security law for Hong Kong.
People have been paying close attention to the developments in Hong Kong over the past few days, Tsai told reporters before attending a Democratic Progressive Party meeting in Taipei.
Taiwan, like all other democratic nations, hopes the “status quo” in Hong Kong — its self-governance, freedom and human rights protection — does not erode further, she said.
Photo: Tu Chien-jung, Taipei Times
Taiwan urges the Chinese government not to renege on its promise of not changing Hong Kong’s status for 50 years and of letting Hong Kongers administer the territory, and calls on it to allow Hong Kong society to return to peace and dialogue, Tsai said.
If the situation worsens, and the territory’s self-governance, human rights or freedom are subject to further suppression, Taiwan would continue to support Hong Kongers’ fight for democracy and freedom, which it believes are crucial to regional peace and stability, she said.
Tsai said that she spoke with Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) and they agreed to have the Executive Yuan draw up an action plan.
The Mainland Affairs Council would prepare the plan, whose execution would involve coordination between government agencies, Tsai said.
The government would organize its resources and prepare a comprehensive plan, including a budget and a clear mechanism for taking in and taking care of Hong Kongers, she said.
The president said that she hopes the council would propose a plan and explain it to the public soon.
In response to Next Media Group (壹傳媒集團) founder Jimmy Lai’s (黎智英) suggestion that immigration laws be relaxed to allow Hong Kongers to move to Taiwan, Tsai said that the laws are already relatively loose for Hong Kongers.
Over the past year, the number of Hong Kongers who have moved to Taiwan has increased 41 percent annually to more than 5,000, Tsai said, adding that she expects that trend to continue.
Asked whether a refugee law would be drafted, Tsai said current laws — particularly the Act Governing Relations with Hong Kong and Macau (香港澳門關係條例) — are sufficient.
Regardless of whether the act is amended, one thing is certain: Taiwan’s determination to take care of Hong Kongers, she said.
Taiwan would provide assistance to allow Hong Kongers to live and work in Taiwan, she added.
Tsai had previously said that the government could consider invoking Article 60 of the act to suspend parts of it if the situation in Hong Kong deteriorates.
Asked which parts she was referring to, Tsai said any adjustments would depend on the situation.
Asked about Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu’s (吳釗燮) remark that China’s next step could be to use force against Taiwan, Tsai said the current circumstances require close attention.
Government agencies have been asked to follow the developments and provide predictions, she said.
The Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) accusation that she was cutting off Hong Kongers was an “incorrect interpretation,” Tsai said.
SOLVED: Domestic orders have already overtaken the total sold to China last year, while the Canadian and US representative offices posted messages of support A joint effort by groups and individuals in Taiwan and abroad to prop up sales of pineapples after China announced a ban on imports of the fruit succeeded in just four days, the Council of Agriculture (COA) said yesterday. China on Friday announced that it would suspend imports of Taiwanese pineapples starting on Monday, citing biosafety concerns. Following the announcement, the council urged the public to assist farmers by purchasing pineapples, saying it hoped to sell 20,000 tonnes of the fruit domestically and 30,000 tonnes in exports. “Domestic orders have already surpassed the total sold to China last year,” COA Minister
Taiwanese netizens and politicians yesterday mocked a Chinese plan to build a transportation network linking Beijing and Taipei, calling it “science fiction” and “daydreaming.” Their comments were in reaction to the Chinese State Council’s release last week of its “Guidelines on the National Comprehensive Transportation Network Plan,” which include several proposed transportation links, with one map showing a line running from China’s Jingjinji Metropolitan Region (Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei) across the Taiwan Strait to Taipei. “This is the Chinese leadership daydreaming again of [fulfilling its] fantasy of extending China’s transportation network to Taiwan. I suggest people regard it as science fiction,” Democratic Progressive
‘ONE PERSON PER UNIT’: People undergoing home isolation cannot stay in a housing unit in which non-isolated people live, unless they have special approval Starting tomorrow, people under home isolation would be required to follow the “one person per housing unit” rule if in private housing, or stay at a quarantine hotel or centralized quarantine facility, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said the rules require people under home quarantine to be quarantined with one person per housing unit, or at a quarantine hotel or centralized quarantine facility. “Starting on March 1, individuals under home isolation will also be subject to the ‘one person per housing unit’ rule,” he said. “We
‘UNITED FRONT’: Grooming young Taiwanese to become Internet celebrities or hosts is a Chinese tactic to spread propaganda to influence young people, a source said As part of its “united front” tactics, China has been grooming young Taiwanese to become Internet celebrities or Internet program hosts, a source said on condition of anonymity. Over the past year, about 1,000 Taiwanese living in China have participated in training programs and competitions for show hosts held in several cities, including Xiamen, Wenzhou and Hangzhou, the source said on Saturday. “Beijing is taking advantage of the openness of the Internet to spread propaganda about acceptance of China, and about ‘national security,’” the source said, adding that Taiwan’s national security officials are racing to fix the problem. Chinese infiltration of