Taiwan opens office for those fleeing Hong Kong after China's new security law

By Yimou Lee

Taiwan opened an office on Wednesday to help people fleeing Hong Kong after China imposed new national security laws in the city, with a senior minister saying Taiwan hoped to seize the opportunity to attract professionals and capital from the city.

The contentious law which took effect on Wednesday will target crimes of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces with up to life in prison, heralding a more authoritarian era for the Asian financial hub.

The law has been widely condemned in democratic and Chinese-claimed Taiwan. About 200 people have already fled to the island from Hong Kong since pro-democracy protests began last year, rights groups say.

Taiwan opened the office in downtown Taipei on the sensitive anniversary of the return of Hong Kong, a former British colony, to Chinese rule in 1997.

It showcased the island's determination to aid Hong Kongers, said Chen Ming-tong, the head of Taiwan's China-policy making Mainland Affairs Council.

"This is an important milestone for the government to further support democracy and freedom in Hong Kong," Chen said at the opening.

Taiwan shares with the Hong Kong protesters a deep antipathy for Beijing, which has never renounced the use of force to bring the island under its control.

In May, President Tsai Ing-wen became the first government leader anywhere to pledge measures to help Hong Kong people who leave due to what they see as tightening Chinese controls.

Chen warned Beijing aims to target people in other countries with the law, which covers permanent and non-permanent residents of Hong Kong. For details, please click.

"This not only targets residents in Hong Kong. It's also an order issued by the Celestial Empire to people all over the world," he added, referring to the Chinese government.

The law created an "opportunity" to win talent and capital from Hong Kong, Chen said, although authorities would "strictly scrutinise" whether Chinese money was involved.

"We also welcome multinational companies to move their headquarters here," he said, adding that Taiwan was reviewing its rules.

Beijing denies stifling Hong Kong's freedoms and has condemned Taiwan's plans to help people there.

On Tuesday, China's Taiwan Affairs Office said the new law would "cut off the black hand" of the island's meddling in Hong Kong.

Chen declined to say how many people are expected, or the number of applications received. His deputy, Chiu Chui-Cheng, said the new office will have about 24 staff with 20 enquiry hotlines, and officials have already received "many calls".

Those who come to Taiwan must do so legally, Chiu added.

© Thomson Reuters 2020.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

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There's one thing for sure:

China will not like this move, to express it politely.

Guess lots of Hong Kong folks will accept this "offer".

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I'd get the hell out anyway possible. China might send me to a re-education camp for a unspecified time and sterilisation is on the cards plus my loss of social points could harm my future. Not really a future I want. Flee flee flee.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Nothing more horrifying in the real world than living under a CCP regime. As close as anything to 1984.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

As Xi's state visit will be cancelled, Japan has no obstacle to follow Taiwan's suit, taking in political asylum seekers from HK if need be. Back in earlier time, Japan also hosted Sun Yat-sen and many other young Chinese activists fleeing the Qing-dynasty controlled continent. Deja vue?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Good for Taiwan.

Take the best of the best minds, and business-people from HK - and stick it to the Communists as Taiwan grows from strength to strength, and China sinks.

Now for Japan to do the same and issue maybe 200,000 PR visas to the top talent from HK.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

China will take this is as a threat to its national coherence, and will not see it lightly. Unlike the UK offer to help those in HK gain UK citizenship, and is thousands of miles away, Taiwan has the unenviable position of being just off the coast of the Chinese Mainland. Done wrong, it could be disastrous for them. While the rest of the worlds heads are turned inwards to sorting out their own problems with COVID19, China could take this opportunity to resolve the Taiwan issue once and for all.

If HK continues to protest Beijing may launch a full scale takeover as a precursor or rehearsal to a take over of Taiwan, to test the water so to speak. See who would react and if anyone would take action. None of this should surprise anyone as lets be honest it wants to do this and now would be the prime time to do it!

Worrying times!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Let the brain drain begin.

China’s loss will be other countries gain.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Bravo Taiwan !!!! I admire your courage !!!!

And to you mainland China and CCP. It is not worse ordeal than to live the life under your tyranny. Democratic and free countries disdain you. You have only your dirty communist money but hopefully that's not enough. to rule this world.  Shame on you.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Good for Taiwan. All democratic countries should do whatever they can to support Hong Kong. That said, when the PLA marches into Hong Kong there is little any counytry can do about it. Taiwan is next on the list and needs to declare sovereignty and become a mermber of the UN as soon as possible. The era of the "status quo" is over.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I hope the new immigrants from HKG will be willing to serve in Taiwan's military and defend their freedoms.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Any democracy worth its claim as a democracy preserving its status should fast track anybody wanting to flee Hong Kong. Made the mistake for Jewish people (Ww2) hope they (those in power) don't make the same mistake again. No one wants a life dictated by a faceless state.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Good on Taiwan.

Here's one country with courage!!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I want to move to Taiwan!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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