Taiwan May Step In, Help Hong Kong 12/10 06:13
TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) -- Taiwan's top diplomat says his government stands with
Hong Kong citizens pushing for "freedom and democracy," and would help those
displaced from the semi-autonomous Chinese city if Beijing intervenes with
greater force to quell the protests.
Speaking to The Associated Press in Taipei on Tuesday, Foreign Minister
Joseph Wu was careful to say his government has no desire to intervene in Hong
Kong's internal affairs, and that existing legislation is sufficient to deal
with a relatively small number of Hong Kong students or others who seek to
reside in Taiwan.
But he added that Hong Kong police have already responded with
"disproportionate force" to the protests. He said that any intervention by
mainland Chinese forces would be "a new level of violence" that would prompt
Taiwan to take a different stance toward helping those seeking to leave Hong
"When that happens, Taiwan is going to work with the international community
to provide necessary assistance to those who are displaced by the violence
there," he said.
"The people here understand that how the Chinese government treats Hong Kong
is going to be the future way of them treating Taiwan. And what turned out in
Hong Kong is not very appealing to the Taiwanese people," he added.
China's Communist Party insists that Taiwan is part of China and must be
reunited with it, even if by force. Modern Taiwan was founded when Chiang
Kai-shek's Nationalists, who once ruled on the mainland, were forced to retreat
to the island in 1949 after Mao Zedong's Communists took power in the Chinese
Beijing has suggested that Taiwan could be reunited under the "one country,
two systems" model that applied to Hong Kong after the former British colony
was returned to China in 1997. That agreement allowed Hong Kong to keep its
civil liberties, independent courts and capitalist system, though many in Hong
Kong accuse Beijing of undermining those freedoms.
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen has said that the "one country, two
systems" model has failed in Hong Kong and brought the city to "the brink of
Government surveys earlier this year showed that about 80% of Taiwanese
citizens oppose reunification with China.