TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — On Monday (Aug. 19), President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) urged Beijing and the Hong Kong government to resolve the civil unrest in Hong Kong properly instead of laying blame on a non-existent foreign power.
“Let me reiterate that while Taiwan is deeply concerned, we will not interfere,” remarked Tsai during a meeting with Christopher Pyne, Australia’s former defense minister. As the protests are now in their third month, Hong Kong’s demonstrators continue to call on their government to completely withdraw the now-postponed extradition bill, and establish an independent inquiry into police brutality against protesters and journalists.
The president has in the past two months frequently said that the government supports Hong Kong citizens’ pursuit of a free and democratic way of life, but her comments have recently been criticized by Chinese officials as an attempt to meddle with Hong Kong’s affairs.
“I advise [the Chinese authorities] not to blame nonexistent foreign forces for any deterioration, to engage in dialogue with the Hong Kong people, and to avoid errors in judgment that may cause future generations to look back on this episode with sadness and regret,” said Tsai.
During the meeting with Pyne, Tsai lauded the stable growth in bilateral trade and investment between Taiwan and Australia. “We seek to further deepen our partnership with Australia, promoting bilateral dialogue and cooperation and advancing regional security and development,” she said.
Pyne is visiting Taiwan to meet with Taiwanese officials and attend the 2019 Ketagalan Forum: Asia Pacific Security Dialogue. The forum will begin on Tuesday morning (Aug. 20) in Taipei.