Taiwan will not tolerate violence against freedom of speech: Tsai

09/26/2019 08:35 PM
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President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文)/CNA file photo
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文)/CNA file photo

Taipei, Sept. 26 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said Thursday that Taiwan will not tolerate violence targeting individuals exercising their freedom of speech, in the wake of several incidents at Taiwanese universities, where expressions of support for the ongoing protests in Hong Kong have resulted in scuffles and violence.

Tsai made the remarks in an interview after attending a meeting with the World Taiwanese Chambers of Commerce in Taipei, following four incidents, two in which Hong Kong students studying in Taiwan were accosted because they support protests in the Special Administrative Region of China, and two others when materials supporting the demonstrations were torn down from message boards.

Tsai said Taiwan embraces inclusiveness and will not tolerate violence aimed at suppressing different opinions.

Chu Chun-chang (朱俊彰), director-general of the Ministry of Education's Department of Higher Education, told CNA on Thursday that the ministry has informed all universities and their campus security report centers to safeguard students' safety and freedom of speech.

On Tuesday, a Hong Kong student at Chinese Culture University (CCU) was involved in a scuffle with Chinese students when she tried to stop them from tearing down posters put up to support Hong Kong's pro-democracy demonstrations, in an incident that was recorded and uploaded to Youtube.

The video also shows the students blaming each other for starting the incident.

Before that, a Hong Kong student studying at I-Shou University was attacked by a Chinese schoolmate in the school dormitory for posting notes that read "today Hong Kong, tomorrow Taiwan," which is often used by activists to suggest Taiwan and Hong Kong face similar threats from China.

The Chinese student received two minor demerits for his actions, the university's disciplinary committee said.

However, the Hong Kong student said he plans to take legal action if the Chinese student does not openly apologize and move out of the dormitory.

In addition, Shih Hsin University and Soochow University have also seen posters supporting the Hong Kong protests torn from walls on campus adorned with messages supporting the movement.

Currently, about 30,000 Chinese students are enrolled at universities in Taiwan and 7,700 from Hong Kong.

(By Chen Chih-Chung and Chi Jo-yao)


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