DPP supports Hong Kong democracy campaigners
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-07-02 03:09 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The opposition Democratic Progressive Party said Wednesday it would continue to support the campaign for democratization in Hong Kong.

More than 500 people were detained Wednesday morning at an overnight sit-in following a massive march through the Special Autonomous Region to demand direct and democratic elections for Hong Kong’s next leader. The event marked the 17th anniversary of the former British colony’s handover to China and an unofficial vote in which 800,000 people backed the demand for more democracy.

“The referendum and the march have shown the force of the people of Hong Kong, so the DPP will continue its call to help and support democracy in Hong Kong,” said Chao Tien-lin, the lawmaker who serves as director of the opposition party’s Chinese Affairs Department.

The 510,000 people who took part in the pro-democracy march turned it into the largest event in the history of the former British colony, Chao said in a news release. The DPP official also criticized outside interference with the protests, apparently a reference to alleged attacks by Chinese hackers against Hong Kong democracy supporters and media.

Despite those difficulties, the will of the Hong Kong people to demand democratic reforms did not diminish, Chao said. They stood up and spoke with a loud voice to let those in power know that what they wanted was democracy.

“Democracy, freedom and human rights are universal values not restricted by borders,” the DPP official said. He called on the Hong Kong and Beijing authorities to respect the wishes and demands of their people, because they are the real masters of their own country. The wishes of the Hong Kong people should be listened to and receive a quick response, he added.

As Hong Kong was continuing on the path of democratic reforms, the DPP would not stand by but maintain its support for the cause, Chao said.

On Tuesday, DPP Chairwoman Tsai Ing-wen and her predecessor Su Tseng-chang expressed their support for the Hong Kong democracy campaign. Tsai gave the marchers encouragement while Su posted a message online saying the protesters were not alone. The people of Taiwan should not only fight for their own freedoms and human rights, but should also stand by their “partners” in Hong Kong, Su wrote.

An estimated 30 members of Taiwanese labor and student groups traveled to the former British colony to join in Tuesday’s march, reports said. Earlier, top student activist Chen Wei-ting had been refused entry and put on a flight back to Taiwan.

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