The Taiwanese president has made an offer to help any Hong Kongers who need to flee their city as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) increases its “anti-terrorism” crackdown.
Residents of Hong Kong have become increasingly concerned and angered as the CCP ramps up its intimidation and violence against anti-Beijing protesters, labeling them “terrorists.” Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen on Wednesday, May 27, increased the offer of help for Hong Kong with effective asylum for residents fleeing the brutal authoritarian CCP regime, reported RFA.
“We are proposing a humanitarian rescue action plan for our Hong Kong friends, to be drawn up by the Executive Yuan,” Tsai said.
“This project will also include relevant resources, a complete plan for the residency, resettlement, and care of Hong Kong people,” Tsai said. “It includes a budget formulation and clear assistance mechanisms.”
No new laws are required for Taiwan to offer a safe place for those wanting to flee the city. “Our current laws … are sufficient,” Tsai told journalists. “Regardless of how the regulations may change in future … I can assure of one thing: of our determination to take care of the people of Hong Kong will not change.”
“We will provide them with the necessary assistance to allow them to live and work in Taiwan,” Tsai said.
The U.S. Department of State said in a statement on May 27:
Last week the People’s Republic of China (PRC) National People’s Congress announced its intention to unilaterally and arbitrarily impose national security legislation on Hong Kong. Beijing’s disastrous decision is only the latest in a series of actions that fundamentally undermine Hong Kong’s autonomy and freedoms and China’s own promises to the Hong Kong people under the Sino-British Joint Declaration, a UN-filed international treaty.
The United States stands with the people of Hong Kong as they struggle against the CCP’s increasing denial of the autonomy that they were promised.
Many Hong Kong residents have been kidnapped, election qualifications for Hong Kong’s Legislative Council have been reset, and the disqualification of pro-democracy candidates has been ordered by the mainland’s brutal authoritarian system.
The spread of the CCP Virus has allowed Beijing to assert itself in Hong Kong, as the protest movement has been hindered.
In April the government of Hong Kong arrested 15 democracy leaders, including 81-year-old lawyer Martin Lee—the so-called Father of Hong Kong’s Democracy—and Jimmy Lai, the publisher of the influential, pro-democracy Apple Daily. They were charged with organizing gatherings deemed illegal months earlier, and labeled “anti-China troublemakers in Hong Kong” by the Chinese Foreign Ministry, with heavy prison sentences expected to be enforced.
Chinese leader Xi Jinping may see the pandemic along with the weakening of the Hong Kong movement as something advantageous for Beijing.
In January, Xi replaced the head of the Hong Kong Liaison Office with a security expert. In February, he replaced the director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office with a hard-liner, reducing the local government to puppet status. Now it plans to impose criminal legislation on Hong Kong residents, reported Foreign Policy. The legislation will cover “secessionist and subversive activity as well as foreign interference and terrorism.” “If this move takes place, ‘one country, two systems’ will be officially erased,” said Democratic lawmaker Dennis Kwok.
“This is the end of Hong Kong,” he added.
Suppression of the media could be on the agenda as well, under the new law. “Already, journalists are expressing fear that interviewing the wrong person or reporting controversial views could land them in trouble. The result would be an increase in self-censorship,” Steven Butler, head of the Asia program at the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), said, reports VOA. “Journalists had already been tiptoeing around controversial topics, such as Hong Kong independence,” he said. “The new laws promise to widen the zone of uncertainty about what is permissible and stokes fears that mainland Chinese-style censorship could be on the way.”
Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s chief executive, said the plans would not affect rights, freedoms, or judicial independence, and plans to work with Beijing to ban “secession, subversion or terrorism activities.”
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement released on Wednesday that he has reported to the U.S. Congress that Hong Kong is “no longer autonomous from China” and “Hong Kong does not continue to warrant treatment under United States laws,” given facts on the ground.
“While the United States once hoped that a free and prosperous Hong Kong would provide a model for authoritarian China, it is now clear that China is modeling Hong Kong after itself,” said Pompeo.
Today, I reported to Congress that Hong Kong is no longer autonomous from China, given facts on the ground. The United States stands with the people of Hong Kong.
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) May 27, 2020