The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) yesterday denied an accusation by the Hong Kong-Taiwan Economic and Cultural Co-operation and Promotion Council that its Taiwanese counterpart in the territory was “interfering with Hong Kong’s internal affairs.”
The Hong Kong council leveled the accusation after Taipei’s Taiwan-Hong Kong Economic and Cultural Co-operation Council this month announced it would establish a Taiwan-Hong Kong Services and Exchanges Office to facilitate humanitarian aid for Hong Kongers.
The new office is scheduled to begin operations on Wednesday.
Photo: Chung Li-hua, Taipei Times
The MAC yesterday asked the Hong Kong council to “not misinterpret” the government’s intentions.
The two Taiwan-Hong Kong councils were established in 2010 to facilitate economic and cultural exchanges.
They held annual exchanges for several years following their establishment, but ties have grown cold in the past few years, a source said.
The Hong Kong council yesterday criticized its similarly named Taiwanese counterpart, saying it had “unilaterally decided” to establish the humanitarian unit.
The office “runs counter to the intention in establishing” the two councils, it said.
“Providing shelter to rioters who destroy the stability of a prosperous Hong Kong is harmful to the people of Taiwan and provides them with no benefit,” it said.
It “strongly demanded” that the Taiwan council not do anything that “does not conform with” its purpose, it added.
It would not communicate with the Taiwan council on any of the actions being taken by the office, it said.
The MAC said that Taiwan’s concerns about the situation in Hong Kong echoed those of the international community.
However, Taipei has never sought to interfere in Hong Kong’s affairs, the MAC said.
The new office’s purpose was to assist Hong Kongers with issues related to investment, study and employment in Taiwan, and emigration to Taiwan, the MAC said.
The issues were being handled within the scope of Taiwanese law and on the basis of humanitarian considerations, it said.
The office’s efforts would conform with the intentions behind the establishment of the Taiwan council, the MAC said, adding that Hong Kong authorities should work with Taiwanese authorities in the interest of the rights of Taiwanese and Hong Kongers.
Taiwanese authorities hope that Taiwan-Hong Kong relations would improve, but the Hong Kong council had unilaterally put off joint conferences, which harmed ties and cooperative efforts by the two councils, the MAC said.
The Hong Kong government should not, on the basis of unreasonable political considerations, interfere with the Taiwan council’s operations, it said.
This story has been amended since it was first published.
‘ASSERTIVE STEPS’: The report says that the US should enable Taiwan to construct asymmetric defense capabilities that would allow it to engage China on its own terms US President Donald Trump’s administration on Tuesday declassified a report that casts the defense of Taiwan as critical to the Indo-Pacific strategy of checking China’s ascent, Bloomberg reported yesterday. “US Strategic Framework for the Indo-Pacific” has governed the US’ strategic response to China since Trump approved it in February 2018, Bloomberg reported, citing a statement by US National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien. “Beijing is increasingly pressuring Indo-Pacific nations to subordinate their freedom and sovereignty to a ‘common destiny’ envisioned by the Chinese Communist Party [CCP],” O’Brien was cited as saying. The report assumes that China would “take increasingly assertive steps to compel unification
SECRET OUT: Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung yesterday accidentally revealed that the infections occurred at the ministry’s Taoyuan General Hospital The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported the fifth COVID-19 case in a cluster infection at a Taoyuan hospital, where four other medical workers were confirmed to have been infected over the past week. The latest case is a nurse who had tested negative on Tuesday last week, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the CECC, told a news conference. However, on Thursday, she developed symptoms, such as nasal congestion and a cough, and a second test yesterday found that she was infected, Chen said. She is the head nurse of a ward where two
PILLARS OF DEMOCRACY: US Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft posted online after the virtual meeting that Taiwan should be able to share its successes in global venues President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and US Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft yesterday held a virtual meeting, during which Tsai described Taiwan as a “force for good” that deserves a place on the world stage, while Craft reaffirmed Washington’s support for Taiwan’s international participation. The virtual talk was held at about 11am, after Craft’s trip to Taiwan was abruptly canceled. She had been scheduled to meet with Tsai in person at the Presidential Office in Taipei yesterday morning as part of a three-day visit to Taiwan. On Tuesday, the US Department of State canceled all of its planned trips, citing a need
‘CONTAINED’: The CECC is not considering locking down the hospital where the infections were detected, as their source has been found, Chen Shih-chung said The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday reported one new domestic COVID-19 case, a doctor at a hospital in northern Taiwan where three other medical workers were confirmed to have the disease over the past week. The new case — No. 856 — is a doctor who had treated a COVID-19 patient together with case No. 838, said Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center. Case No. 838, confirmed as a locally infected COVID-19 case on Tuesday, was the first case in the hospital cluster, and later infected his partner, who is a nurse at the same