TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A day after China passed a repressive new security law for Hong Kong, the Taiwan-Hong Kong Services and Exchanges Office opened on Wednesday (July 1).
On Tuesday (June 30), the National People's Congress Standing Committee approved a heavy-handed national security law that criminalizes secession, subversion, and collusion with foreign forces and greatly constrains protests and freedom of speech. In anticipation of the passage of the law, Taiwan on Wednesday officially opened the Taiwan-Hong Kong Services and Exchanges Office in Taipei's Da'an District as part of its "Hong Kong Humanitarian Aid Project."
The office is being created to provide services to Hongkongers who wish to study, conduct business, invest, or seek asylum in Taiwan. According to the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), the office will be comprised of three sections: "consultation services," "program management," and "administrative affairs," and is housed in the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, a non-partisan, non-profit organization.
MAC Minister Chen Ming-tong speaking to the press. (Taiwan News photo)
The office will provide consultation and assistance to Hong Kong nationals in Taiwan for study, employment, investment, entrepreneurship, immigration, and residency, as well as for multinational enterprises and international corporations relocating to the country. In addition, the office will also manage matters pertaining to humanitarian assistance and care for Hong Kong citizens "based on national security considerations, in keeping with existing laws and regulations, and by means of public-private partnerships."
The MAC emphasized that the implementation of this project "fully demonstrates the determination and goodwill of the government to support the Hong Kong people in protecting their democracy, freedom, and human rights, as well as to provide care for them." Hongkongers wishing to contact the office can call one of two hotlines: 2700-3199 and 2397-1088.