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Government, opposition condemn China plans for new HK security laws

ROC Central News Agency

05/22/2020 04:52 PM

Taipei, May 22 (CNA) Taiwan's government and leading opposition party spoke out Friday against plans by the Chinese government to enact new national security laws in Hong Kong.

At a press conference Thursday, Chinese officials announced that the National People's Congress, China's Legislature, would review a bill "on establishing and improving the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to safeguard national security."

While the text of the legislation has yet to be released, Chinese state media signaled that it will provide legal grounds for the central government to intervene against activities in Hong Kong it deems subversive to state power.

In response, Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said Friday that the proposed legislation demonstrates the Chinese government's inability to reflect on the true causes of dissatisfaction in Hong Kong, as it instead seeks to blame its problems on foreign interference and independence activists.

Alex Huang (黃重諺), a spokesperson for Taiwan's Presidential Office, called on Beijing to respect Hong Kongers' legitimate democratic aspirations and to enter into dialogue with them, rather than further restricting their freedoms.

Both of Taiwan's major political parties also issued statements condemning the legislation.

Hung Yu-chien (洪于茜), a spokesperson for the opposition Kuomintang (KMT), said Taiwanese people across party lines are concerned about the situation in Hong Kong and called on Beijing to respect the region's autonomy.

The proposed legislation will bypass Hong Kong's Legislature and violate the Sino-British Joint Declaration's guarantee of autonomy for the region, Hung went on, adding that Hong Kong people's distrust of Beijing, which led to major protest movements in 2014 and 2019, would only be exacerbated by the plans.

As far as the KMT is concerned, the Republic of China (Taiwan's formal name) is a sovereign country, and the "one country, two systems" model espoused by China is absolutely not on the table, Hung said.

The governing Democratic Progressive Party, meanwhile, said the plans made it possible that anyone in Hong Kong could end up as the next Lee Ming-che (李明哲), and "declared again to the world that 'one country, two systems' is dead."

Lee, a Taiwanese pro-democracy activist, disappeared in March 2017 after entering China from Macau and was subsequently jailed for "subverting state power."

In an opening address to the People's Congress on Friday, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (李克强) said the country would continue to oppose Taiwan independence and promote reunification with China.

(By Yu Hsiang, Wen Kuei-hsiang and Matthew Mazzetta)


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