TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Hong Kong students based in Taiwan rallied outside Hong Kong’s representative office in Taipei on Thursday, calling for world leaders to direct their attention to their government’s proposed extradition bill on the eve of the G20 summit.
G20 leaders should condemn Beijing’s interference in Hong Kong’s freedom and rule of law during G20 meetings, said Chiu E-ling (邱伊翎), secretary-general of the Taiwan Association for Human Rights. The organization also urged G20 leaders to express to Chinese leader Xi Jinping their deep concern about the decline of human rights and democracy in Hong Kong.
Leaders around the world ought to be concerned about Hong Kong’s extradition bill protests and the deteriorating state of the territory’s press freedoms over the past two decades, remarked Wu’erkaixi, a former student leader of the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989. He spoke in support of the rally on behalf of the Reporters Without Borders.
Hong Kong is the world’s Hong Kong, not merely a territory handed over by the U.K. to China, added Wu’erkaixi.
Wu’erkaixi, former student leader of 1989 Tiananmen Square protests (Source: CNA)
World leaders, including U.S. President Donald Trump and China’s Chairman Xi Jinping, will arrive in Osaka, Japan, on Friday for the G20 summit. Hong Kong students in Taipei echoed the concerns expressed by protesters at home the previous day, making an appeal to the world in hopes that leaders will put pressure on China during the two-day conference.
In the past few weeks, the protests in Hong Kong against the extradition bill have made headlines in global media and consequently prompted many world leaders to voice their concerns over the contentious piece of legislation, which would allow anyone in the city, Hong Konger or otherwise, to be extradited to China for trial. International non-profit organizations have also condemned riot police’s use of weapons against peaceful demonstrators and journalists on June 12.
Despite the heavy rain pouring down in Taiwan’s stifling capital, local civic groups came out to join the Taiwan-based Hong Kong natives. The demonstrators demanded that the Hong Kong government establish an independent investigation team to probe into instances of police violence.
The request is part of the “five demands” made by protesters, which also include the complete withdrawal of the extradition bill and resignation of Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam. Lam has postponed the extradition legislation indefinitely and apologized to the citizens of Hong Kong. She has not, however, directly addressed protesters’ demands as of yet.