Thousands rally in Taipei to support Hong Kong protest

June 17, 2019 15:20
Protesters gather outside the Legislative Yuan in Taipei on Sunday in support of the protests in Hong Kong against a proposed extradition law. Photos: AFP

Echoing Hong Kong's second massive rally against China-backed extradition bill, several groups joined Hong Kong protesters simultaneously in Taipei on Sunday afternoon to demand the Hong Kong government withdraw the extradition bill and release arrested protesters.

During the rally, which was organized by Hong Kong students and graduates in Taiwan, the Taiwan Citizen Front and the Taiwan Youth Association for Democracy, participants sat outside Taiwan's legislature building to voice their opposition to the bill, urging those who will become the candidates for the island's presidential election to promise that they will reject a peace agreement with China.

They also called on Taiwan authorities to formulate measures that will offer protection to political refugees from Hong Kong and Macau, and put strict restrictions on entry applications from Hong Kong civil servants and police officers who were involved with the oppression last week.

Commenting on Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam's suggestion that she was suspending the extradition bill because Taiwan did not accept it, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said Lam's remarks were just an excuse, and wondered if Lam really bothered about safeguarding democracy and freedoms in Hong Kong.

Tsai said the massive protests that took place in recent days in Hong Kong have proven that the “one country, two systems” principle is absolutely not feasible.

Taiwanese must unite to protect the island’s sovereignty, democracy, freedom, and human rights, she said.

At a rally on Saturday in Yunlin county in central Taiwan, Kaohsiung mayor Han Kuo-yu, who is seeking to represent Taiwan's opposition Kuomintang (KMT) in the island's 2020 presidential election, vowed that Taiwan will not pursue "one country, two systems" if he becomes president.

Foxconn Group's billionaire chairman Terry Gou Tai-ming, who is another Taiwan presidential hopeful, said that no government can use weapons at its people, in particular the youth.

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