With the election of John Lee (李家超) as Hong Kong’s chief executive, the territory has entered a period of authoritarian rule, a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) official said yesterday.
With the “China hardliner” set to take over on July 1, Hong Kong has become “more like Macau,” and is to become just like mainland China, DPP China Affairs Department director Wu Jun-zhi (吳峻鋕) told a conference organized by the Friends of Hong Kong and Macau Association in Taipei.
Wu quoted Lee as saying that his appointment as chief executive was necessary due to Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s (林鄭月娥) failure to enact an extradition law and curb the spread of COVID-19.
“State media in China are hailing the changes to Hong Kong’s electoral system and its crackdown on protests as an achievement of [Chinese President] Xi Jinping (習近平),” Wu said.
“Headlines are saying that Hong Kong is now ‘governed by patriots,’ and celebrating the territory’s transition from ‘chaos to governance,’” Wu said.
With Hong Kong’s government firmly under the control of Beijing, Taiwan’s relationship with the territory would face challenges, he said.
Hong Kong has no tolerance for pro-democracy voices such as Joshua Wong (黃之鋒) and former media tycoon Jimmy Lai (黎智英), he said, adding that they were considered by Beijing to be “under the influence of foreign forces.”
The Mainland Affairs Council has said that Taiwan-Hong Kong relations would continue to be based on the principle of reciprocity, and would focus on the interests of people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait, while fostering exchanges in various fields.
Wu said that under Lee, Hong Kong would prioritize adherence to Xi’s concept of a “rejuvenation of the Chinese people,” and that the territory’s economy would be integrated into that of neighboring Guangdong Province.
Lee commanding 99.16 percent of the vote is demonstrative of the authoritarian environment in Hong Kong, and the election was “seen by some as humiliating” for the territory, National Taiwan Normal University political science professor Fan Shih-ping (范世平) said.
Beijing has been grooming Lee since the administration of former Hong Kong chief executive Leung Chun-ying (梁振英), he said.
Under Lee, Hong Kong is likely to experience a decline in economic growth and see the flight of foreign capital, which would be to Taiwan’s advantage, he said.
“Ever since he was Hong Kong secretary for security, Lee has done everything in his power to suppress human rights in Hong Kong,” Fan said. “As chief executive, he will certainly do even more to have people arrested.”
Japan Forum for Strategic Studies researcher Bonnie Liao (廖雨詩) said that it remained to be seen whether Beijing would allow Taiwan to continue the same type of relations with Hong Kong.
Taiwan shares a unique relationship with Hong Kong, but it is likely to change, she said, adding that Taiwan would need to continue to rely on non-governmental organizations for various exchanges.
The US Department of State yesterday criticized Beijing over its misrepresentation of the US’ “one China” policy in the latest diplomatic salvo between the two countries over a bid by Taiwan to regain its observer status at the World Health Assembly, the decisionmaking body of the WHO. “The PRC [People’s Republic of China] continues to publicly misrepresent U.S. policy,” Department of State spokesman Ned Price wrote on Twitter. “The United States does not subscribe to the PRC’s ‘one China principle’ — we remain committed to our longstanding, bipartisan one China policy, guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, Three Joint Communiques, and
FATES LINKED: The US president said that sanctions on Russia over Ukraine must exact a ‘long-term price,’ because otherwise ‘what signal does that send to China?’ US President Joe Biden yesterday vowed that US forces would defend Taiwan militarily in the event of a Chinese attack in his strongest statement to date on the issue. Beijing is already “flirting with danger,” Biden said following talks with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo, in which the pair agreed to monitor Chinese naval activity and joint Chinese-Russian exercises. Asked if Washington was willing to get involved militarily to defend Taiwan, he replied: “Yes.” “That’s the commitment we made,” Biden said. “We agreed with the ‘one China’ policy, we signed on to it ... but the idea that it can be
INFORMATION LEAKED: Documents from Xinjiang purportedly showed top leaders in Beijing calling for a forceful crackdown and even orders to shoot to kill Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) yesterday held a videoconference with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet as she visited Xinjiang during a mission overshadowed by fresh allegations of Uighur abuses and fears she is being used as a public relations tool. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been accused of detaining more than 1 million Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in the region as part of a years-long crackdown the US and lawmakers in other Western nations have labeled a “genocide.” China denies the allegations. Bachelet was expected to visit the cities of Urumqi and Kashgar on a six-day tour. The US
SUBTLE? While Biden said the US policy of ‘strategic ambiguity’ on Taiwan had not changed, the group targeted China and Russia without naming them Leaders of Australia, India, Japan and the US yesterday warned against attempts to “change the status quo by force,” as concerns grow about whether China could invade Taiwan. The issue of Taiwan loomed over a leadership meeting in Tokyo of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) nations — the US, Japan, Australia and India — who stressed their determination to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific region in the face of an increasingly assertive China, although Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said the group was not targeting any one country. The four leaders said in a joint statement issued after their talks