TAIPEI (Reuters) – Taiwan officers in Hong Kong have been told their visas will not be renewed if they really don’t indicator a document supporting Beijing’s assert to Taiwan below its “one China” coverage, a human being with direct awareness of the subject explained to Reuters.
FILE Photo: Supporters of Hong Kong anti-authorities movement collect at Liberty Square, to mark the just one-yr anniversary of the start of the protests in Hong Kong, in Taipei, Taiwan, June 13, 2020. REUTERS/Ann Wang
The go arrives right after Taipei strongly criticised a new protection regulation imposed on Hong Kong by Beijing, and opened an place of work in Taipei this thirty day period to assist individuals who may perhaps want to depart the Asian monetary hub.
Several Taiwanese officials at its de facto Hong Kong consulate who were being because of to renew their visas have been asked by the city’s government to indicator the document, a senior Taiwan formal with know-how of the issue explained to Reuters.
The official claimed the move was unprecedented and presented an “unnecessary political obstacle” for Taipei-Hong Kong ties.
“They will not situation the visa if we really don’t signal the doc,” the official reported, declining to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter. “It’s totally a problem established by them.”
“We will consider our very best to protect our stance. Our associates in Hong Kong will hold fast to their posture.”
The Hong Kong Immigration Division did not promptly answer to a ask for for remark.
Taiwan’s China plan-producing Mainland Affairs Council urged Hong Kong to return to “existing consensus” to manage typical exchanges concerning Taiwan and Hong Kong.
“Hong Kong should adhere to mutual agreements to make sure the office is free of charge from political interference, and ought to not establish needless obstacles further than those agreements,” it claimed in a assertion to Reuters.
Taiwan has 15 Taiwanese staff members at its de facto consulate in the metropolis, another man or woman with information of the matter claimed.
China sees Taiwan as section of “one China” and has under no circumstances renounced the use of force to bring the island below its handle.
China has proposed that Taiwan be introduced underneath Chinese rule less than a very similar “one country two systems” arrangement it available to Hong Kong. Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen rejects the proposal, which she calls a “failure”.
The supply declined to say accurately how quite a few Taiwan officers were being asked to sign the paper but stated its performing main, Kao Ming-tsun, had returned to the island late on Thursday right after he refused to signal the doc on his visa renewal.
Reuters was not straight away equipped to attain Kao for comment.
Kao’s return to Taiwan because of to the political spat was initial documented by Taiwan on the net publication Up Media.
Taiwan announced this week it will boost scrutiny over expenditure from Hong Kong to prevent illicit money from mainland China, times soon after Reuters described the shift.
Hong Kong has extensive served as an critical trade and investment decision conduit in between Taiwan and China, which have no diplomatic relations.
Hong Kong’s new stability law punishes what China broadly defines as subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with overseas forces with up to everyday living in jail.
Critics of the regulation anxiety it will crush the broad-ranging freedoms promised to the former British colony when it returned to Chinese rule in 1997, when supporters say it will convey security to the city after a calendar year of sometimes violent anti-federal government protests.
Reporting By Yimou Lee more reporting by Clare Jim in Hong Kong Editing by Michael Perry