Taiwan to set up office to help people fleeing Hong Kong

Taiwan to set up office to help people fleeing Hong Kong

Taiwan said on Thursday it will set up an office to help citizens thinking of fleeing Chinese-ruled Hong Kong.

Last month, China’s parliament approved a decision to impose national security laws on the semi-autonomous Chinese territory, sparking violent protests and clashes with security forces. Rights activists say the tightening Chinese controls, including the new law, are smothering democracy.

Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council said the new office would begin operations on July 1, which is also the day Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule from Britain in 1997 with the promise of continued freedoms under its “one country, two systems” formula.

Earlier, the United Kingdom’s prime minister Boris Johnson also said the country stands ready to open the door to almost 3 million Hong Kong citizens, as the new law would “dramatically erode” Hong Kong’s autonomy and would breach the treaty between China and the UK.

Taiwan’s office aims to “practically handle humanitarian relief and care” for Hong Kong citizens, the council said. It added that the office is also aimed at “reinforcing” the council’s existing services which include immigration, work and student visas for Hong Kong citizens, and demonstrates Taiwan’s support for democracy, freedom and human rights in the city.

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