Currently, about 200 activists from Hong Kong have managed to escape to Taiwan after massive protests broke out last year to stop the interference of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in the semi-autonomous region. The CCP seeks to abolish the “one country, two systems” rule.
The new security laws that are coming into effect in Hong Kong gradually generate greater pressure for civil liberties, democracy, and autonomy in the former British colony, condemning any kind of anti-government expression, censoring the promotion of secession, subversion, and foreign influence.
Therefore, Taiwan has not hesitated to catch up with the problems faced by dozens of young Hong Kong activists and to date 10% of the activists have already acquired visas. Taiwan is promoting a law that protects people from Hong Kong who are in danger for political reasons, according to Express UK.
Express UK pointed out, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-Wen, is leading the initiative that seeks to help Hong Kong citizens who have no choice but to seek refuge as the CCP’s controls over the special administrative region tighten.
That’s why the Taiwanese Continental Affairs Council recently announced that a new government office would begin operating on July 1, which aims to “practically handle humanitarian relief and care” concerning the current situation of the Hong Kong people.
As The Guardian pointed out, since October Taiwan has granted refuge for several protesters and now supports the protesters who have taken part in the anti-government protests.
Ben, a first name only activist who moved to the island, told the British newspaper, “The protesters can no longer help Hong Kong, so what we can do is put our power overseas.”
“We know we are dying but we hope that China [CCP] can get the same punishment. We want what is happening to us to happen to China [the CCP],” said the 21-year-old activist. He added, ““We want all the world to think ‘Do we want to do business with a country which treats the people so bad.’”
Since the Hong Kong protesters became refugees in Taiwan, the island’s authorities have enacted measures allowing visa extensions as well as offers of university enrollment to expedite the visa process, and only last Wednesday did Taiwan say it would further ease border restrictions to allow people from Hong Kong to enter on humanitarian grounds.
On the situation of refugees, spokesman for the Taiwanese presidential office, Kolas Yotaka said, “Taiwan strongly condemns China [CCP] for hurting democracy and human rights in Hong Kong, and will keep helping Hong Kongers providing practical support and assistance based on our laws.”
The office designated to deal with the situation of human rights activists and defenders escaping from Hong Kong also hopes to provide economic relief for newcomers to Taiwan.
The UK government has similarly committed to boosting the supply of citizenship to Hong Kongers amid political pressures from the CCP.
On June 3, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that he expects to welcome 3 million Hong Kong residents to the UK in response to the repressive measures imposed by the CCP.
“Many people in Hong Kong fear their way of life—which China [CCP] pledged to uphold—is under threat. If China [the CCP] proceeds to justify their fears, then Britain could not in good conscience shrug our shoulders and walk away; instead we will honor our obligations and provide an alternative,” Johnson said.