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Taiwan condemns Chinese mob that harassed shop in Chile

2019/08/25 16:12:28

Taipei, Aug. 25 (CNA) Taiwan's government on Sunday condemned a group of Chinese citizens for harassing a Taiwanese restaurant in Chile that apparently showed its support for the ongoing protests for democratic rights in Hong Kong.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) said the ministry condemned and denounced the irrational and violent behavior of the Chinese mob.

Ou said the ministry, via its representative office in Chile, contacted the Taiwanese owner of the restaurant surnamed Chang (張) on Aug. 23 local time after learning of the incident to express the government's determination to protect the safety of its nationals overseas.

The office will work with Chang should he decide to report the case to Chilean police and offer legal assistance should he need any, Ou said.

According to an online post on Aug. 23 local time that has circulated online since, a Chinese mob in Santiago shut down the restaurant titled "Pollo Chang" after they found Chang had supported the Hong Kong protests.

The post did not explain why the Chinese protesters believed Chang supported Hong Kong.

The group of Chinese citizens stormed into Chang's shop to hang up a Chinese flag and sing the Chinese national anthem, which forced the shop to shut down its operations, according to a video clip posted on Youtube.

Ou told CNA that Chang's restaurant has resumed operations.

She also said the ministry fully supports Chang's freedom of expression in supporting the ongoing protests in Hong Kong.

Since June, several rounds of protests have been held against a proposed bill in Hong Kong that would allow the extradition of criminal suspects to China and its arbitrary and opaque judicial system for trial.

The bill has been suspended but not withdrawn, as demanded by the protesters.

More recently, however, as Beijing and the Hong Kong authorities have refused to budge on any of the protesters' demands, the movement has morphed into a wider movement calling for democratic reforms in the territory.

(By Elaine Hou and Joseph Yeh)
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