Amid flaring tensions between China and Hong Kong over the national security law, Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen has promised ‘necessary assistance’ to Hong Kong drawing fury from Beijing.
The Chinese national security law has received global condemnation. Legislators and politicians from as many as 23 countries have issued a joint statement criticising the new laws which will be imposed on Hong Kong by China.
“In face of the changing situation, the international community has proactively stretched out a helping hand to Hong Kong’s people,” Tsai wrote. She further wrote that Taiwan will “even more proactively perfect and forge ahead with relevant support work, and provide Hong Kong’s people with necessary assistance.”.
As earlier reported by EurAsian Times, China made it clear that they are ready to bring Hong Kong under its full control and improve the system that has permitted the region to enjoy a level of autonomy.
Thousands of protestors took to the streets in Hong Kong against a resolution to “prevent, frustrate and punish” threats to national security which was presented in China’s legislature.
“This is unprecedented. The public must be allowed the opportunity to properly consider and debate about proposed laws which affect their personal rights and obligations,” said Hong Kong’s Bar association in a statement.
The draft legislation will outlaw the acts of secession, subversion and terrorism and provides for a jail term of three years. The bill is expected to be passed on May 28 which will authorise the National People`s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee to draft the law and impose it on Hong Kong, bypassing the city`s legislature.
“Terrorism is growing in the city and activities which harm national security, such as ‘Hong Kong independence’, become more rampant,” said John Lee, Hong Kong’s Secretary for Security.
He further added that the city has changed from one of the safest in the world to a city shrouded in the shadow of violence, thus promoting the need for national security law to safeguard the city’s prosperity and stability.
Meanwhile, China has accused supporters of Taiwan independence of colluding with the protestors in Hong Kong. The official data shows that the number of Hong Kong immigrants to Taiwan surged 150 percent to 2,383 in the first four months of 2020 from the same period last year.
Taiwan doesn’t have a law on refugees seeking asylum that could be applied to Hong Kong protestors. The law does provide for asylum to Hong Kong citizens whose safety and liberty are threatened for political reasons.
“Don’t let ‘supporting Hong Kong’ only be a slogan of empty promises. … Bring up your thoughts on the legislation. Support Hong Kong with real actions,” said Johnny Chiang, chairman of Taiwan’s main opposition party, the Kuomintang.
Tsai said that the proposed legislation was a serious threat to Hong Kong’s freedoms and judicial independence. The protests have won support among the Taiwanese population and the Tsai administration which has worsened the ties with Beijing.
According to Taiwanese news, China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is planning to conduct a large-scale landing exercise in August in the South China Sea with the aim of capturing the Taiwan-controlled Dongsha islands.
The troops from both sides have been demonstrating their muscle power in the South China sea as well. With rising anti-Beijing sentiment, Taiwan and Hong Kong seem to be coming together to fight the common adversary.