By Lin Chia-nan / Staff reporter
Taiwan would provide humanitarian assistance to Hong Kongers in Taiwan who are in need and look to the government for help, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs （MOFA） said yesterday, adding that the government hoped the territory would soon be restored to tranquility as it strives for freedom and democracy.
The Mainland Affairs Council would announce the details, ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou （歐江安） told a news conference in Taipei.
The ministry is closely watching the situation, and it regrets and is concerned over the protest being labeled “terrorism,” she said.
Chinese State Council’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office spokesman Yang Guang （楊光） on Monday said that “sprouts of terrorism” were emerging in Hong Kong, as “protesters have been frequently using extremely dangerous tools to attack the police in recent days, constituting serious crimes,” adding that the authorities would crack down on violent criminals.
Ou said that Taiwan was calling on the Hong Kong government to listen to its people’s appeals and try to realize the crux of the problem, adding that President Tsai Ing-wen （蔡英文） has said that suppressing protesters with violence cannot solve the problem.
Taiwan continues to work with like-minded nations to defend global democracy, and remains firm in its support of Hong Kongers in their struggles for freedom, democracy and human rights, Ou added.
The Chinese-language media outlet Credere Media （信傳媒） on Monday reported that the number of Hong Kongers applying for residence or short-stay permits in Taiwan has soared since the protests erupted in June.
Ministry of the Interior data showed that 681 applications had been filed, of which 636 were approved, Credere Media said.
The number of June applicants was 55.49 percent higher than last year, while the number last month was 39.66 percent higher than a year earlier, it said.
President Tsai Ing-wen, center, while visiting Taoyuan yesterday calls on the Hong Kong government to better communicate with its people. Photo: Chen En-hui, Taipei Times