Taiwan Advises Its Citizens to Avoid Hong Kong After New Law

by FDeditor

A man is being arrested by riot police during a demonstration against the new national security law in Hong Kong, China, on July 1, 2020. (Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)

By Reuters

TAIPEI—Taiwan citizens should avoid unnecessary visits to or transit through Hong Kong, Macau, or mainland China after the passing of an “outrageous” national security law for the former British colony, a Taiwan government official said on July 2.

The law, imposed on Hong Kong by Beijing, targets crimes like secession, subversion, terrorism, and collusion with foreign forces with up to life in prison. It has been widely condemned in Chinese-claimed and democratic Taiwan where Hong Kong’s anti-government protesters have won support.

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A protester (center R) is detained by police during a rally against a new national security law, on the 23rd anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover from Britain to China, in Hong Kong, China, on July 1, 2020. (Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images)

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Riot police officers charge up escalators and shoot pepperball projectiles at a shopping mall during an anti-national security law demonstration in Hong Kong, China, on July 1, 2020. (Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)

Speaking to reporters in Taipei, Chiu Chui-Cheng, deputy head of Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council, said the law was the “the most outrageous in history” with a reach that extended everywhere.

“Taiwan people should avoid making unnecessary visits to or transits via Hong Kong, Macau, and the mainland,” he said.

Beijing denies stifling Hong Kong’s freedoms.

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A demonstrator waves a flag during a rally to show support for Hong Kong pro-democracy protests at Free Square in Taipei, Taiwan, on June 13, 2020. (Sam Yeh/AFP/Getty Images)

Chiu said Taiwan’s de facto consulate in Hong Kong—the island has no formal diplomatic relations with China—would continue to operate.

“We won’t take the initiative to withdraw it, unless there are external factors,” he said. “We will stay until the last minute.”

Hong Kong has traditionally played an important role in China-Taiwan interactions, especially when there were no regular direct flights before 2008, and its airport is often used by Taiwan people making flight connections.

HK Riot police

Riot police secure an area in front of a burning road block during a demonstration against the new national security law in Hong Kong, China, on July 1, 2020. (Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)

China, Taiwan’s biggest trading partner, is also home to a large Taiwan business community making everything from semiconductors to shoes.

The same day the law came into force, Taiwan opened an office to help Hong Kong people who may wish to flee to the island. China has condemned Taiwan’s offer of help for Hong Kong’s people.

Chiu said the office got more than 180 inquiries from people in Hong Kong on its first day, including on a Taiwan immigration investment scheme and from people seeking help for political reasons.

By Yimou Lee

From NTD.com

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