《TAIPEI TIMES》‘High-risk groups’ warned over HK law
The flag of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, right, flies alongside the flag of China, second right, outside the Exchange Square complex, which houses the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, in Hong Kong on May 29. Photo: Bloomberg
CAUTION: Taiwanese should be alert, even if they have just liked or shared posts that would breach Beijing’s national security legislation for Hong Kong, the council said
By Chung-Li-hua and Jake Chung / Staff reporter, with staff writer
Due to the newly implemented Hong Kong national security legislation, the Mainland Affairs Council （MAC） has drawn up a list of what it described as “high-risk groups,” cautioning them not to travel to Hong Kong.
People who support independence for Taiwan, Hong Kong, Tibet and Xinjiang; those who are critical of the Chinese Communist Party （CCP）, the Hong Kong government and the “one country, two systems” concept; and those who donated to or voiced support for the Hong Kong anti-extradition bill movement are urged to refrain from visiting Hong Kong, the council said on its Web site.
It released two posts on the matter, one on Friday and the other yesterday.
The National Security Law was passed by the Chinese National People’s Congress last month and took effect on June 30, defining and prohibiting acts of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces.
According to the council, the legislation is not limited to the territory of Hong Kong, its people, or aircraft and ships registered in Hong Kong, but is applicable worldwide, and the CCP is the sole entity that defines how it works.
The legislation aims to prevent any person or organization from separating lands claimed by China from China; rebelling and overthrowing the CCP, or the Hong Kong special administrative government, including to prevent the destruction of governmental facilities; commiting acts of terrorism against people, transportation, sources of water, power, broadcasting and Internet networks; and colluding with foreign nations or powers against the interest and safety of the nation, which includes preventing the enactment of policies and laws, and inciting hatred against the CCP and the Hong Kong special administrative government, the council said.
Any actions, such as liking Facebook posts, joining forums, forwarding posts or links, wearing apparel or holding flags, regardless of their directness or indirectness, or whether violence was used, are considered a breach of the legislation and could be punished by life imprisonment, the council said.
The government would be closely monitoring the situation in Hong Kong and would announce the results of its risk assessment at an appropriate time, the council said, adding that it has bolstered the capabilities of its branches in Hong Kong and Macau to provide assistance to Taiwanese in need.
The council urged Taiwanese to be cautious and be on high alert when traveling or transiting through Hong Kong, adding that individuals working or studying in Hong Kong should also be on high alert.
It urged those who are likely to be detained by the Chinese authorities to refrain from visiting, as they could very well become the next “Lee Ming-che （李明哲）.”
Lee, a Taiwanese human rights advocate, went missing on March 19, 2017, after entering Zhuhai, Guangdong Province, from Macau. On Nov. 28 that year, Lee was found guilty of sedition and sentenced to five years in prison.
The council urged Taiwanese to fill in their details on its Web site if they must visit Hong Kong or Macau and call the MAC’s 24-hour emergency number in Hong Kong: 852-6143-9012, or Macau, 853-6687-2557 if they have problems.