The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) yesterday said it is to hold cross-departmental meetings to discuss easing regulations to allow Hong Kong and Macau residents to visit and live in Taiwan.
The discussions will focus on three areas: allowing outstanding Hong Kong graduates to work in Taiwan, relaxing the duration of the duration of stay limits for Hong Kong professionals and establishing a “green channel” to facilitate Hong Kong investment in Taiwan, the council said.
The “green channel” would expedite and provide more incentives to encourage Hong Kongers to invest in Taiwan, MAC spokesman Chiu Chui-cheng (邱垂正) said, adding that council would announce more measures after they are finalized.
Asked whether more channels would be made available to Hong Kong activists, Chiu said that current regulations — referring to Article 18 of the Laws and Regulations Regarding Hong Kong & Macao Affairs (香港澳門關係條例) — were sufficient.
However, the council does not rule considering other systems that could boost Taiwanese efforts to help Hong Kongers, he said.
Asked whether any Hong Kong civil servants have approached the Taiwan-Hong Kong Services and Exchanges Office since its opening on July 1, and whether reviews for such individuals would be more strict, Chiu replied in the affirmative.
Citing recent amendments to Article 22 of the Regulations Governing Residency or Permanent Residency for People of the Hong Kong Area and the Macau Area (香港澳門居民進入臺灣地區及居留定居許可辦法), Chiu said that the review committee would pay especial attention to Hong Kongers who have worked for the Chinese government, the military or the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), or who were born on the mainland.
The nation should consider how to provide greater assistance to Hong Kong or sanction the governments responsible, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Deputy Secretary-General Lin Fei-fan (林飛帆) said earlier yesterday, following the sentencing on Wednesday of three prominent Hong Kong activists.
He said that two of them — Joshua Wong (黃之鋒) and Agnes Chow (周庭) — are old friends of his, having worked together on social movements in their respective homes.
“I am worried for them, but I also know they are very strong,” he said.
Many people surely feel bad for Hong Kong after seeing this news, but they should also look inward and think about their own responsibilities, Lin said.
For Taiwanese, this means establishing a democratic front line in Asia, and protecting people and nations that should be protected, he said.
Taiwan should also consider every possible way to help Hong Kong, whether in the form of policy, organizations or sanctions of the Hong Kong government or Beijing, Lin added.
Executive Yuan Secretary-General Li Meng-yen (李孟諺) said that the government would continue to pay attention to the situation and providing substantive assistance to Hong Kongers.
Freedom and human rights are universal values, Li said, urging the Hong Kong government to provide its young citizens a home that is full of hope, not oppression.
Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) on Wednesday decried the Hong Kong court’s decision.
“Iron bars cannot hold the flame of freedom; one’s conscience will show them the light,” he wrote on Facebook.
A generation of young Taiwanese were not afraid of police brutality or imprisonment, and if they were afraid, they did not flinch, but marched bravely forward, he said.
Taiwan’s freedom and democracy are built on solid ground, thanks to the foundation these heroes built, Su added.
Additional reporting by Lee Hsin-fang
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