Hong Kong Protests Hit 6-Month Mark
Six months in, the protests in Hong Kong continue and hundreds of thousands took to the streets this past weekend. In an interview with the Associated Press, a top leader from Taiwan, another area in the region that is fraught with tension over its status and relationship with mainland China, expressed support for the protestors, criticized the actions of the Hong Kong police, and said that Taiwan would be prepared to assist those seeking to leave Hong Kong should mainland Chinese forces get involved.
"When that happens, Taiwan is going to work with the international community to provide necessary assistance to those who are displaced by the violence there," Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu told the AP. "The people here understand that how the Chinese government treats Hong Kong is going to be the future way of them treating Taiwan. And what turned out in Hong Kong is not very appealing to the Taiwanese people."
Taiwan’s top diplomat tells @AP his government stands with Hong Kong citizens pushing for “freedom and democracy,” and would help those displaced from the territory if Beijing intervenes with greater force to quell the protests. By @adamschreckhttps://t.co/9kyuCvtmVt— The Associated Press (@AP) December 10, 2019
In other developments, the Hong Kong police reported finding and defusing two homemade explosive devices: 10 kilograms of packed high explosive material and shrapnel. It was by far the largest seizure of explosive material since the protests began. The police said that the bombs were fully functional and were made so that they could be remotely detonated by cell phone.
The protest movement started in June when the Hong Kong government was set to consider adopting a law that would allow extradition from Hong Kong to mainland China. The protestors demanded that the bill be abandoned, and the bill was officially withdrawn on 04 September. In addition, the protestors have outlined four other demands: investigations into police brutality and misconduct, the release of arrested protestors, an official retraction of the characterization of the protests as riots, and the resignation of Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam and direct elections of a new leader and lawmakers. On Tuesday, Lam reaffirmed the government’s position that it will not concede on these four demands.