Taiwan to let Hong Kongers in on 'humanitarian' grounds beginning July 1 - the same day HK was returned to China

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Jun 24, 2020, 07:48 PM(IST)

A demonstrator waves a flag during a rally to show support for Hong Kong pro-democracy protests at Free Square in Taipei on June 13, 2020. Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

Recently, China announced plans to impose national security laws in the former British colony, which would essentially prohibit any criticism of the mainland Chinese administration

Taiwan recently announced plans to ease border restrictions for people coming from Hong Kong on humanitarian grounds. On Wednesday, June 24, the government announced plans to set-up a dedicated office wing for people seeking to escape Hong Kong, a semi-autonomous city sandwiched in China.

Recently, China announced plans to impose national security laws in the former British colony, which would essentially prohibit any criticism of the mainland Chinese administration. Additionally, with the support of pro-China Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam, China wants to weed out “terrorists” from the city.

July 1 - a historic date

It’s imperative to note that Hong Kong is the only territory in China which grants democratic freedoms to its people.

The new office will open beginning July 1. What’s interesting is the historic date chosen for its reopening, for Hong Kong was returned to China on July 1 in 1997, under its “one country, two systems” deal with the British.

Also read: Amid growing tensions with China, Taiwan's Foxconn eyes investment in India

Taiwan and China have recently been engaged in a lot of military almost-confrontations. Taiwanese leader recently asked China to “stop the drills”, and to focus on “coronavirus”, which has reemerged in the capital city of China, after China had confidently proclaimed its transmission as over.

A success story

The country had closed off its borders in March in order to contain COVID-19 infections.

“On special humanitarian considerations”, Taiwan will now allow Hong Kongers to come to the country. But there’s one condition - everybody will be tested for COVID-19, and if they test negative they shall be given shelter in the country.

Additionally, everyone will undergo a mandatory 14 day period of quarantine, which is true for everyone entering the country. Taiwan is a democracy, unlike the neighbouring China, which claims Taiwan as its own territory.

Also read: Taiwan raps China for military activity, says it should fight coronavirus instead

China also hit out at Taiwan for supporting Hong Kong, which has been battered by protests for over a year. What began as a protest against Chinese influence began a full fledged movement for democracy and its preservation.

Hong Kong is governed by its mini-constitution, called “Basic Law”, which offers citizens freedoms not available elsewhere in the country.

Taiwan has been lauded as one of the earliest success stories of containing COVID-19. In fact, the country never underwent a lockdown, which is not true for the rest of the world, where containing the virus has been very hard.

(With inputs from Reuters and AFP)

Read in App