DPP legislative caucus supports Hongkongers’ fight for democracy

The legislative caucus of Taiwan's ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) blasted Beijing's political intervention in the judicial system of Hong Kong Monday, calling into question China's attitude toward the basic human rights of Hong Kong people.

DPP caucus whips Wu Ping-jui (???) and Liu Shih-fang (???) delivered the call in a press conference at the Legislative Yuan in response to a physical altercation between pro-democracy activists and police in front of the liaison office of the Chinese government in Hong Kong the previous evening.

The conflict erupted as some of the activists attempted to break through police barriers during a protest march against an interpretation of the Basic Law of Hong Kong by Beijing's rubber-stamp parliament, the National People's Congress (NPC), regarding controversial oaths taken by two pro-democracy elected lawmakers in October while being sworn in.

The oaths by Sixtus Leung (???) and Yau Wai-ching (???) in the Legislative Council were invalidated after the wording was provocatively changed into something apparently derogatory to China.

Also during the swearing-in ceremony, the two displayed a pro-independence banner reading "Hong Kong is not China."

On Monday, the NPC officially passed its interpretation, according to China's state-run Xinhua News Agency.

Afterward, the Hong Kong government determined that Leung and Yau should be disqualified from taking office because of the violation of oath codes stipulated in the Basic Law.

In Taiwan's Legislature, Wu blasted Beijing for attempting to intervene in the judicial independence of Hong Kong through the NPC's interpretation of the Basic Law of the former British colony.

Such intervention was lodged "only because the content of the oaths the two young (elected) lawmakers took are not in accordance with the expectations of top-ranking officials in Beijing," the lawmaker argued.

It was this political intervention in the judicial system of Hong Kong and the disregard of democracy and freedom that drove Hong Kong people to take to the streets, he said.

Liu recalled that in 1993, DPP lawmakers had triggered a similar controversy by taking their oaths "toward the Taiwanese people" outside the Legislative Yuan. Three years later, DPP lawmakers played with the swearing-in ritual by taking their oaths with their backs facing the national flag.

Those problems were eventually resolved and did not stop the lawmakers from taking office, she said, describing the actions as part of the freedom of speech. She urged the Hong Kong authorities to resolve the controversy there with wisdom.

Taiwan's authorities have not commented on the latest political disturbance in Hong Kong.

The independence-leaning DPP defeated the China-friendly Kuomintang (KMT) in the presidential and legislative elections in January, ousting the KMT from the majority in the Legislature that it had held for several decades.

Both Leung and Yau are members of the Youngspiration Party, which sprang from the Occupy Central pro-democracy protests of 2014. They have called for Hong Kong to break away from China entirely.

The duo visited Taiwan in October, one month after being elected.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel