Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-07-01 05:45 PM
Thousands of people took to the streets of the Special Autonomous Region Tuesday, the 17th anniversary of its handover to China, to demand direct and democratic elections for its next leader. The protest followed an unofficial vote in which 800,000 people backed the demand.
Tsai and Su posted separate messages of support on their Facebook pages.
“Democracy is what we both strive for together, through the wind and rain we march together, go, Hong Kong,” Tsai wrote.
“For our friends in Hong Kong who strive for general elections: democracy is not alone,” Su wrote by hand on a note of which he posted a picture online Tuesday.
The former opposition leader called on the people of Taiwan to back the Hong Kong democracy activists’ demands. Taiwan should not only value and defend its own hard-won freedoms and human rights, but also support “partners” who were seeking similar freedoms and democracy, Su said. He expressed encouragement for the people of Hong Kong, saying democracy should not be allowed to be lonely.
An estimated 30 Taiwanese were also taking part in the Hong Kong protest march, the Chinese-language United Evening News reported. Labor activists said that general, free and democratic elections were a basic universal value which had to be supported everywhere, including in Hong Kong.
A member of the student-based action group Island Forward told reporters he had traveled to Hong Kong for the march because the territory’s government had clearly spelled out that the reach of its sovereignty could be determined by the central government in Beijing.
Island Forward was formed in the wake of the March-April student occupation of the Legislative Yuan in protest against the government’s rush to force through a trade-in-services pact with China.
One of the student movement leaders, Chen Wei-ting, recently tried to enter Hong Kong to show his support for the democracy protests, but he was stopped and sent back to Taiwan.