Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen promised Hong Kong with “necessary assistance” after protests erupted in the Chinese ruled territory against the newly proposed national security legislation from Beijing.
Taiwan has today become a refuge for the small but growing number of pro-democracy protesters fleeing Hong Kong.
On Sunday, thousands of people protesting against Beijing’s plan to impose national security laws on the city were dispersed by the use of tear gas and water cannons fired by the Hong Kong police.
Taking to her official Facebook account on Sunday, Tsai said the proposed legislation was a serious threat to Hong Kong’s freedoms and judicial independence. Bullets and repression are not the way to deal with the aspirations of Hong Kong’s people for freedom and democracy, she added.
“In face of the changing situation, the international community has proactively stretched out a helping hand to Hong Kong’s people,” Tsai wrote.
Taiwan will “even more proactively perfect and forge ahead with relevant support work, and provide Hong Kong’s people with necessary assistance”, she wrote.
Although Taiwan has no written laws on refugees that could be applied to Hong Kong protesters who are seeking asylum, the laws do promise to help Hong Kong citizens whose safety and liberty are threatened for political reasons.
Needless to say, protesters in Hong Kong have won widespread sympathy in Taiwan, worsening already weak ties between Taipei and Beijing.
China has previously lashed out of the Taiwan President, calling her a “separatist” bent on declaring the island’s formal independence.