Premier: We must defend free and democratic Taiwan amidst row over Hong Kong extradition bill

  • Date: 2019-06-13
  • Source: Department of Information Services, Executive Yuan

At Thursday’s weekly meeting of the Cabinet, Premier Su Tseng-chang commented on protests in Hong Kong against the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance amendment bill, which would permit the extradition of criminal suspects to China. The premier said that only generations of sacrifice and tenacity finally brought about a free and democratic Taiwan, and so it is crucial to safeguard the well-being of Taiwan’s 23 million citizens. He also expressed hope that all would make their voices heard and join Hong Kong in bolstering the territory’s freedom and democracy.

At the time of the transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong to China, the mainland promised to uphold the “one country, two systems” principle and avoid any interference for 50 years afterwards, said the premier. Now, however, the world can clearly see the terrifying spectacle of police opening fire on protesters and beating people already down on the ground. Comparing the actions to Beijing’s deployment of tanks to crush city residents and students at Tiananmen 30 years ago, Premier Su said that authoritarian countries have no concept of human rights, only the power to rule.

Changes in human society create turbulence and lead to periods of tumult, said Premier Su, such as the murder of Jews by the Nazi regime on “Kristallnacht,” or the “night of broken glass.” As the nation’s highest administrative body, the Executive Yuan has a responsibility to protect Taiwan in the face of China’s treatment of Hong Kong. The premier called on everyone to come together and defend Taiwan, and stand up for a free and democratic Hong Kong.