TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Following China’s passage of a draconian security law for Hong Kong Tuesday (June 30), President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said a special body would start operating on July 1 to provide humanitarian assistance to residents of the former British colony.
July 1 marks the 23rd anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to China by Great Britain. The “one country, two systems” formula with Hong Kong as an autonomous territory was supposed to have lasted for 50 years until 2047, but many Hong Kong citizens fear the new national security law marks the de facto end of their special status.
President Tsai expressed disappointment at the passage of the law, adding that it proved that “one country, two systems” was impossible to apply. The national security law showed that it was difficult to believe promises from China, the Liberty Times reported.
Tsai emphasized that the people of Hong Kong should be allowed to continue to cherish democracy, freedom, and human rights, and that Taiwan would assist them in those efforts.
Separately, Vice President Lai Ching-te (賴清德) said China had trampled on its promise that Hong Kong people should be allowed to rule themselves for 50 years. The authorities in China and Hong Kong should listen to the voice of the people, he added, as freedom and democracy were the basic rights of Hong Kong residents.