The government’s Hong Kong Humanitarian Aid project is to be implemented through a Taiwan-Hong Kong Interaction Office, which is to begin operations on July 1, Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Minister Chen Ming-tong (陳明通) said yesterday.
The aid plan has been anticipated since China’s National People’s Congress last month endorsed national security legislation for Hong Kong, despite Beijing’s past promise that the territory would remain autonomous until 2047.
The new office is a special agency to assist Hong Kongers with study, investment and entrepreneurial interests, seeking employment or emigrating to Taiwan, Chen told a news briefing in Taipei as he unveiled the government’s plan for helping Hong Kongers.
Photo: Wang Yi-sung, Taipei Times
Established under the Taiwan-Hong Kong Economic and Cultural Cooperation Council, the new office would also assist international companies setting up branches in Taiwan, he added.
The office is to render humanitarian aid to Hong Kongers, while complying with Taiwan’s laws and upholding national security, he said.
The project’s implementation fully embodies the government’s support of Hong Kongers’ efforts to uphold human rights and defend the values of democracy, and its goodwill toward them, he said.
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday also reaffirmed her commitment to support Hong Kongers.
Whether reacting to the territory’s extradition bill last year or the national security legislation being imposed by Beijing, Taiwanese have empathized with Hong Kongers’ insistence on freedom and democracy, she wrote on Facebook.
In addition to condemnation of China’s encroachment on Hong Kong’s democracy and human rights, the nation would continue to employ institutional power to provide Hong Kongers with practical support and assistance, she wrote.
After a Chinese academic cited Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) as a “pro-unification force,” MAC Deputy Minister Chiu Chui-cheng (邱垂正) said that the council does not respond to the opinions of individuals.
The article, written by Shanghai Institute of Taiwan Studies deputy director Ni Yongjie (倪永杰), urged Beijing to utilize forces in Taiwan that advocate unification and “guide them toward the path of cross-strait negotiations.”
The council calls on the public not to fall into traps set by the Chinese Communist Party, which attempts to expedite unification through means disguised as “democratic negotiations,” Chiu said.
Additional reporting by Chung Li-hua
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