The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) yesterday denied an accusation by the Hong Kong-Taiwan Economic and Cultural Co-operation and Promotion Council that its Taiwanese counterpart in the territory was “interfering with Hong Kong’s internal affairs.”
The Hong Kong council leveled the accusation after Taipei’s Taiwan-Hong Kong Economic and Cultural Co-operation Council this month announced it would establish a Taiwan-Hong Kong Services and Exchanges Office to facilitate humanitarian aid for Hong Kongers.
The new office is scheduled to begin operations on Wednesday.
Photo: Chung Li-hua, Taipei Times
The MAC yesterday asked the Hong Kong council to “not misinterpret” the government’s intentions.
The two Taiwan-Hong Kong councils were established in 2010 to facilitate economic and cultural exchanges.
They held annual exchanges for several years following their establishment, but ties have grown cold in the past few years, a source said.
The Hong Kong council yesterday criticized its similarly named Taiwanese counterpart, saying it had “unilaterally decided” to establish the humanitarian unit.
The office “runs counter to the intention in establishing” the two councils, it said.
“Providing shelter to rioters who destroy the stability of a prosperous Hong Kong is harmful to the people of Taiwan and provides them with no benefit,” it said.
It “strongly demanded” that the Taiwan council not do anything that “does not conform with” its purpose, it added.
It would not communicate with the Taiwan council on any of the actions being taken by the office, it said.
The MAC said that Taiwan’s concerns about the situation in Hong Kong echoed those of the international community.
However, Taipei has never sought to interfere in Hong Kong’s affairs, the MAC said.
The new office’s purpose was to assist Hong Kongers with issues related to investment, study and employment in Taiwan, and emigration to Taiwan, the MAC said.
The issues were being handled within the scope of Taiwanese law and on the basis of humanitarian considerations, it said.
The office’s efforts would conform with the intentions behind the establishment of the Taiwan council, the MAC said, adding that Hong Kong authorities should work with Taiwanese authorities in the interest of the rights of Taiwanese and Hong Kongers.
Taiwanese authorities hope that Taiwan-Hong Kong relations would improve, but the Hong Kong council had unilaterally put off joint conferences, which harmed ties and cooperative efforts by the two councils, the MAC said.
The Hong Kong government should not, on the basis of unreasonable political considerations, interfere with the Taiwan council’s operations, it said.
This story has been amended since it was first published.
SCHEDULE: The delegation is due to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen this morning and witness the signing of an MOU on bilateral health cooperation in the afternoon US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar yesterday arrived in Taipei aboard a US government plane at the head of a delegation that is the highest-level visit by a US official since Washington switched diplomatic recognition to China in 1979. Azar’s flight landed at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) at 4:48pm, nearly one hour earlier than scheduled, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. The apron where it landed is reserved for military aircraft, the Songshan Air Force Base Command said. The members of Azar’s delegation included HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Robert Kadlec, HHS Chief of Staff Brian
CHINESE FIGHTERS: Beijing marked the US Cabinet member’s visit by briefly sending two warplanes across the median line of the Taiwan Strait yesterday morning President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday met with US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar in the highest-level official meeting between the two nations since 1979. “It is a true honor to be here to convey a message of strong support and friendship from [US] President [Donald] Trump to Taiwan,” Azar said during the open portion of his courtesy call to the Presidential Office, which was streamed live online before Tsai and Azar held a closed-door meeting. “Taiwan’s response to COVID-19 has been among the most successful in the world, and that is a tribute to the open, transparent,
ALEX AZAR: The first visit by a head of the Department of Health and Human Services would strictly observe the CECC’s special regulations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar is to lead a delegation to Taiwan — the highest-level visit by a US Cabinet official since the two sides cut formal relations in 1979. The plan was announced yesterday morning by the US Department of Health and Human Services and confirmed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). Beijing has expressed its concerns to Washington, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin (汪文斌) said later yesterday. Taiwan and the US only issued statements saying that the visit would happen “in the coming days.” MOFA said that due to security concerns, it would
‘CROSS-STRAIT CONSIDERATIONS’: Groups said that the Ministry of Education’s policies excluded Chinese and students should not be blocked over political issues The Taiwan International Student Movement yesterday said it would protest today outside the Ministry of Education in Taipei against a policy that excludes some Chinese students from returning to Taiwan amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Since June 17, the ministry has allowed foreign students from 19 “low risk” and “medium-low risk” countries and regions to enter Taiwan. On July 22, it announced that it was relaxing restrictions to include students from all countries and regions who are graduating this semester and on Wednesday it further expanded entry to students enrolled in degree programs. A letter sent by the ministry on Wednesday to universities did