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DPP voices support for democracy in Hong Kong

2019/07/01 22:32:51

Luo Wen-jia (羅文嘉, right)

Taipei, July 1 (CNA) Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) gave its full backing to Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement Monday, hours ahead of another major protest in the territory against a controversial bill that triggered massive demonstrations last month.

DPP Secretary-General Luo Wen-jia (羅文嘉) lent the support while speaking in a video call with Joshua Wong (黃之鋒), secretary-general of Hong Kong pro-democracy party Demosisto, before the protest, which was expected to draw half a million of people to the streets.

"Taiwan is ready to help any area that is suppressed by the authoritarian Chinese regime, not to mention Hong Kong, which is so close to Taiwan," he said.

Hong Kong citizens have risen up against proposed legislation that would allow Hong Kong authorities to extradite people at Beijing's request to China, where there is no chance of a fair trial.

They see the bill as just the latest attempt by China to encroach on the freedoms and autonomy guaranteed under a "one country, two systems" framework for 50 years from when Hong Kong was handed over to China in 1997 and fear it would undermine their judicial independence.

Previous protests, including a 2-million person march on June 16, have called for the extradition bill to be withdrawn and the main promoter of the bill, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam (林鄭月娥), to step down.

But Lam has only gone as far as agreeing to suspend legislative consideration of the bill indefinitely and refused to give up her position.

Luo said the protests have sent a clear signal to Beijing that its "one country, two systems" unification formula has totally failed in the territory.

Wong said "one country, two systems" has actually became "one country, 1.5 systems," and Beijing's suppression of Hong Hong has been mounting since President Xi Jinping (習近平) came to power in 2012.

During that time, Wong said that within the system young Hong Kongers have not been allowed to participate in elections and outside the system the freedom to protest on the streets has been greatly curtailed.

Wong predicted 500,000 of Hong Kong's 7 million people would take to the streets Monday evening to demand universal suffrage to elect their leaders and lawmakers.

"Beijing and Hong Kong's authorities must heed the desire of Hong Kong's people," he stressed.

Wong thanked Taiwan for supporting Hong Kong people's demonstrations against the extradition bill, and urged candidates taking part in Taiwan's presidential election in January 2020 to take notice of the issue.

"In the face of China's repression, Hong Kong is willing to team up with Taiwan to fight for democracy and freedom," he said.

Luo told the opposition Kuomintang, which is more friendly to China than the DPP but has not advocated "one country, two systems," that Taiwan must not walk on the same path and said there is absolutely no room for ambiguity.

"Otherwise Taiwan will see its back against the wall," he warned.

(By Flor Wang and Ku Chuan)
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