Hong Kong breakthrough: Taiwan offers citizens fleeing the region refuge

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As China looks to clamp down on Hong Kongers already shrinking rights and freedoms, countries have been standing in solidarity with the region in order to show support. Taiwan is just an hour’s flight from the troubled Chinese-ruled city. And announced that it will set up a specialised office to support Hong Kongers anxious to leave the territory.

Many of them out of fear of retribution for taking part in months-long pro-democracy protests.

There is a government-funded office that will help those looking to move to Taiwan for school, employment, investment, entrepreneurship and immigration.

It will be open and start offering advice by July 1.

As well as offering humanitarian assistance to support the rights of Hong Kong citizens, Taiwan views the move as a “great opportunity for Taiwan to attract talent.”

This is according to Chen Ming-tong, the minister of Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council, responsible for ties with China.

“The people of Taiwan have long empathised with the plight of people in Hong Kong, & we’re taking substantive action to assist & protect those in need.”

“Our Taiwan-Hong Kong Office for Exchanges & Services is dedicated to helping #HKers transition to a new life here in Taiwan,” tweeted Tsai Ing-wen, the Taiwanese president, on Friday.

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The announcement came on the same day that China’s top legislative body started drafting the controversial legislation, in an apparent rush to push through a law that bans subversion, separatism and acts of foreign interference, but which critics say will be used to crush dissent.

Britain has this week encouraged all G7 industrialised nations to sign a statement in which they collectively express deep concerns about China’s plans.

This comes after the UK accused China of violating a legally-binding joint declaration that guaranteed the city’s way of life until 2047.

The UK has also stepped up to offer up to 3 million Hong Kong holders of a “British National Overseas” passport a pathway to citizenship if the law goes ahead.


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In Hong Kong people are already making plans to take up offers of refuge.

“I fear that Hong Kong is no longer a safe place to live anymore,” said a 23-year-old male clerk working at a political organisation, who wished to remain anonymous.

He said he was already processing the paperwork for his BNO passport.

“My local passport doesn’t safeguard my identity anymore,” he said, adding that he feared his political work would make him a target under the new law, possibly leading to his imprisonment.

“The future of Hong Kong is definitely in despair. No matter which side you are with, either you’re fervently pro-democracy or loyal to the Communist Party, society remains deeply polarised. The ending for Hong Kong will be full of darkness,” he said.

An airline worker in her forties, known as Ms Li, spoke to The Telegraph and said she was scared about the law and urgently considered uprooting her entire life.

“The law is another form of a cultural revolution,” she said, adding that she and her fiancé would emigrate as soon as borders started to reopen after the pandemic.

“I’m sorry to the youngsters. I don’t have their strength and guts to fight for Hong Kong. I’m truly sorry,” she said.

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