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.
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