- About 60 Hong Kong demonstrators are now taking refuge in Taiwan in special ways.
- Some of them worry that if pro-Beijing politician Han Yu wins the presidential election, they may not be able to stay in Taiwan.
- Taiwan is about to hold a presidential election on January 11.
According to Reuters, some Hong Kong demonstrators are concerned that if Han Kuo-yu, the presidential candidate close to Beijing, is elected as president, the assistance previously provided by President Tsai Ing-wen to Hong Kong demonstrators may be interrupted. Taiwan is about to hold a presidential election on January 11.
At present, because Taiwan has no law to deal with political asylum, the Tsai Ing-wen government has allowed nearly 60 Hong Kongers, who have participated in the demonstration, to temporarily extend their visas in Taiwan. Under the pseudonym Jero, a 30-year-old Hong Kong demonstrator said that “if Han Kuo-yu is elected, I will buy a flight ticket and flee to another country right away.”
Jero lives in a small suite in Taipei under the auspices of a social movement group that supports Hong Kong people. He said that he had participated in the storming of the Hong Kong Legislative Council on July 1 last year. Because he was afraid of being sentenced for up to ten years in prison for rioting, he took a tourist visa and flew to Taiwan.
Another demonstrator, pseudonym Roger, arrived in Taiwan with a tourist visa in July, and his visa was extended twice. “Hong Kong people are fighting against the Chinese Communist Party, but how could we convince ourselves that the Kuomintang is also against the Communist Party?” Tiffany, a 20-year-old protester in Hong Kong, is also in Taiwan. She called on Taiwanese to vote for Tsai Ing-wen to defend the sovereignty of the island. “I want to study and find work in Taiwan,” she said.
Hong Kong People Launch “Protection Umbrella” Project
Hong Kong lawyer Huang Guotong, who has been obliged to assist Hong Kong demonstrators in the past six months, launched the “Umbrella” program, and raised funds to open at least ten breakfast shops or second-hand clothing shops in Taiwan in order to apply for a work visa for the protesters to stay in Taiwan. Huang Guotong said that the plan was mainly sponsored by anonymous supporters from Taiwan and Hong Kong, and many of them were lawyers, physicians, and other professionals.
In addition, Huang Chun-sheng, a pastor of the Jinan Presbyterian Church in Taiwan, has hosted more than 100 demonstrators. According to Taiwanese media, he has been assisting Hong Kong people to raise defensive supplies since August. In an interview with Reuters, he said that a foundation will be set up for Hong Kong people in Taiwan to coordinate funds to help Hong Kong people seek asylum. He also said that some Hong Kong people believed that they would not be prosecuted and had returned to Hong Kong.
A high-level government official told Reuters that the Tsai Ing-wen government had begun to help Hong Kong demonstrators fleeing to Taiwan for “political reasons” about six months ago, and has so far assisted about 60 people in a “case-by-case” manner. Demonstrators have extended their tourist visas many times, and some have assisted in applying for student or work visas. The official said the government would not repatriate the demonstrators who had arrived in Taiwan. He said, “if we don’t help Hong Kong people when they are in trouble, who will help us if Taiwan people are in trouble in the future?”