Taipei, Sept. 3 (CNA) Hong Kong student activist Joshua Wong (黃之鋒) on Tuesday called for wider support from the Taiwanese government and its people for Hong Kong's ongoing democratic movement, as he arrived in the country to meet with government representatives and some independence-supporting local politicians.
Joshua Wong (second right) at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport
Arriving at Taoyuan International Airport, Wong, secretary-general of pro-democracy party Demosistō, told reporters that he has three main goals during his two-day visit to Taiwan; all of which are meant to solicit more support from Taiwanese for the Hong Kong protesters.
Wong said he was invited to Taiwan to share the latest updates on the democratic movement in Hong Kong, which began in late June in opposition to a proposed bill that would have allowed the extradition of criminal suspects to China for trial.
Wong said he also wants to gain more insight from his upcoming meetings with Taiwanese lawmakers as to what concrete measures the Taiwanese government can take to offer humanitarian assistance to Hong Kong protesters.
Last but not least, Wong said he hopes to rally more Taiwanese support for Hong Kong during his trip.
"Hong Kong and Taiwan both share the same fate as they both are facing suppression from the Chinese communist regime," Wong said, adding that the months-long protest shows people in Hong Kong see no future in the so-called "one country, two systems" promised by Beijing.
"One country, two systems" refers to a constitutional principle formulated by former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping (鄧小平) during the early 1980s, which suggests there is only one China, but distinct regions such as Hong Kong and Macau can provisionally retain their own economic and administrative systems.
Since June, several protests have been held against the proposed bill in Hong Kong that led to its suspension but not withdrawal, 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 protests have morphed into a wider movement calling for democratic reforms in the territory.
Wong told reporters Tuesday that the protesters are calling for the withdrawal of the controversial bill and demand Hong Kong police not use violence against the people.
"The key to all these demands lies in the decision of Chinese President Xi Jinping," said the 22-year-old activist.
The ultimate goal for Hong Kong people is to become like Taiwan, a place where freedom and democracy prevail, he stressed.
Wong, together with Hong Kong lawmaker Eddie Chu (朱凱迪) and Lester Shum (岑敖暉), former deputy secretary-general of the Hong Kong Federation of Students, visited Taiwan at the invitation of the Taichung-based Light Foundation, founded by Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍).
They will meet with opposition New Power Party (NPP) Chairman Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明), NPP Legislator Huang Kuo-chang (黃國昌) and NPP caucus director Chen Hui-min (陳惠敏) Tuesday afternoon to talk about the current situation in Hong Kong, as well as to exchange views with their counterparts in Taiwan.
The three will also visit the ruling Democratic Progressive Party headquarters in Taipei, where they will hold a closed-door meeting with party Chairman Cho Jung-tai (卓榮泰), Secretary-General Luo Wen-jia (羅文嘉) and Deputy Secretary-General Lin Fei-fan (林飛帆).
Under the invitation of the Light Foundation, Wong, Chu and Shum will take part in a discussion forum hosted by Lin Fei-fan Tuesday evening in Taichung.
The three Hong Kong democracy activists will head back to Taipei on Wednesday to take part in another democracy discussion organized by the Light Foundation at the Mayor's Residence Art Salon in the evening, before returning to Hong Kong.
Wong and a number of pro-democracy figures were detained and charged with involvement in authorized protests, by Hong Kong police last Friday.
He was released on bail later the same day.