Presidential Office Spokesperson Xavier Chang (張惇涵) addressed the passage of a law to protect national security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region today by China's National People's Congress Standing Committee, saying that the Beijing authorities have circumvented Hong Kong's legislature and broken their promise that Hong Kong would remain "unchanged for 50 years" with a "high degree of autonomy," severely eroding Hong Kong's freedom of expression and judicial independence. Passing this law on the eve of the 23rd anniversary of Hong Kong's return to China seems especially ironic, he said, and proves that "one country, two systems" is simply not viable.
Spokesperson Chang then said that the Beijing authorities' continuous push for a so-called "Hong Kong version of the National Security Law," which began during last year's anti-extradition movement in Hong Kong, made the whole world aware that people in Hong Kong yearn for and are committed to freedom and democracy. And the people of Taiwan share those feelings. In addition to strongly condemning China's continued infringement of Hong Kong's democracy and human rights, we once again appeal to the Beijing authorities to open sincere dialogue with the people of Hong Kong, which is the only way to resolve disputes and quiet the turbulence in Hong Kong society.
To respond to the deteriorating situation in Hong Kong, Spokesperson Chang also said that Taiwan will continue to use institutionalized methods to give Hong Kong citizens the most practical support and assistance. The Hong Kong Humanitarian Aid Project has been launched and the Taiwan-Hong Kong Office for Exchanges and Services will formally begin operations tomorrow, July 1. The Mainland Affairs Council will run the office, coordinating various ministries and agencies, planning budgets and allocating funds, integrating civic resources and public-private cooperation, so that Taiwan will continue to provide the people of Hong Kong with the necessary humanitarian assistance.
Spokesperson Chang emphasized that at this time, he believes that all of Taiwan is united in solidarity, and that regardless of political affiliation, in both government and civil society, democratic Taiwan and Hong Kong are of one mind, supporting the people of Hong Kong and the universal values of freedom and democracy. Taiwan, along with its partners in the international democracy camp, also has a responsibility to continue to support Hong Kong and its people.