Hong Kong protesters fleeing to Taiwan are caught up in a series of restrictions designed to protect democratically governed islands from increasingly aggressive China.
President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan Provide shelter A wave of Hong Kongers fleeing after Beijing moves to challenge the former British colony. However, many feel disappointed by the Taiwanese government, which is struggling to build a new life across the strait.
“Tsai’s rhetoric against protesters was very positive,” said Leb Nackman, a Harvard postdoc who studies political protests in Taiwan and Hong Kong. “But there is a gap between her words and what the government is doing to help.”
In May 2020, Tsai declared that Taiwan would “provide the necessary support to the people of Hong Kong” after China imposed strict national security laws. “The solution is not a bullet, but a true freedom and democracy,” she said.
But Tsai resists a call for exiled protesters to introduce a refugee or political asylum system that paves the way for permanent residence or citizenship, and warns that it could “cause trouble with China.” Nackman said he was doing it.
Taiwan Worried about provoking Beijing By becoming an outpost for anti-Chinese Communist Party activity, just as the PLA strengthens its military stance towards the country.
Five protesters who illegally traveled to Taiwan by boat last July were quietly detained at a military base for six months before being admitted to the United States for humanitarian reasons.
“Taiwan has helped Hong Kongers, which is undeniable,” said Ram Wingky, owner of Causeway Bay in Taipei. Kidnapped He fled after Hong Kong proposed a delivery law to China in 2019. “The question is whether we can do more to help.”
In the first five months of 2021, Taiwan approved approximately 4,000 temporary stay applications for Hong Kongers. This is a 44% increase from the previous year.
“Wealthy Hong Kongers are easy to get to Taiwan, but the more pressing groups are protesters, many of whom are young students,” said Nackman.
The lack of formal refugee procedures means that many Hong Kongers have to move from one visa to another, making it difficult to find stable employment.
“If we can’t secure permanent residence and citizenship, it’s impossible for Hongkongers to feel that they belong to Taiwan,” said Jiangmin Yan, a researcher at the Taipei-based economic democratic coalition think tank. ..
Proponents lobbying on behalf of Hong Kongers said Taiwan’s visa process was failing asylum seekers. To obtain a work visa, Hong Kong immigrants must secure a job with a monthly salary that is twice the minimum wage in Taiwan. This requirement is difficult for young, working-class Hong Kongers, who make up the majority of the democratic movement.
Chiu Chui-Cheng, Deputy Minister of the Mainland Affairs Council, told the Financial Times that each application for a residence permit was processed individually and provided additional assistance in situations that should be taken into account.
Taiwan opened a special office in July 2020 to coordinate humanitarian assistance to Hongkongers in response to the enforcement of the Security Law a month ago. The office provides financial, physical and mental health support to asylum-seekers.
The Taiwanese secretariat of the Chinese government has criticized Tsai for supporting the protest as part of a “separatist conspiracy” to promote independence movements in Taiwan and Hong Kong. China claims Taiwan as part of its territory, Threatening to attack If Taipei seeks formal independence.
Influx from Hong Kong also raises concerns in Taiwan Chinese agent Those who infiltrated the democratization movement may have arrived at the island.
“Taiwan is very sensitive to its relationship with China,” said Simon, a Hong Konger who came to Taipei after passing the National Security Act and demanded the use of a pseudonym.
Simon waited a year to ask if his retired mother could join him. Her application was hampered when authorities discovered she was working for a technology company in Hong Kong that was acquired by a competitor in mainland China.
Sang Pu, a lawyer who runs an organization that helps Hong Kongers apply for residence in Taiwan, said authorities would reject applicants who worked for companies owned by mainland China.
Chiu defended Taiwan’s cautious approach. “Hong Kong has changed and is now controlled by the Chinese Communist Party, so we need to protect China from the possibility of invading Taiwan using loose policies against Hong Kong immigrants.”
As a territorial relationship, Taiwan has begun to develop an emergency response plan to lose the official representative of the scene in Hong Kong. Keep getting worse.. Activists are concerned that Tsai will revoke the city’s special status, which makes it easier for Hong Kongers to move to the island than inhabitants of mainland China.
“Taiwan’s door to Hong Kong is slowly closing,” Sun said. “Before that, Taipei should allow democratic supporters to participate.”