Taiwanese police have arrested a man for allegedly attempting to assault a group of Hong Kong pro-democracy politicians at the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport earlier this month.
Activist Joshua Wong and pro-democracy lawmakers Nathan Law Kwun-chung, Eddie Chu Hoi-dick and Edward Yiu Chung-yim attended a forum in Taipei on January 7 at the invitation Taiwan’s New Power Party. The two-day event concerning democracy movements in Hong Kong and Taiwan provoked hostile protests from pro-unification groups in the territory.
The suspect, Chang Wei, was arrested by Taiwanese police upon arrival at Taoyuan airport on Sunday on the charge of obstructing government administration. According to Apple Daily, the arrest took place in the afternoon and his interrogation ended at around 9pm on the same day.
Chang was granted bail of TWD100,000 (approximately HK$24,500) and his right to leave Taiwan has been restricted.
He is the son of “White Wolf” Chang An-le, an alleged gangster and co-founder of the Bamboo Union crime brotherhood. Chang An-le now leads the pro-unification Chinese Unionist Party, whose members also protested during the visit of the Hong Kong politicians, Focus Taiwan reported.
Including Chang’s arrest on Sunday, Taiwan police have apprehended at least 14 people in connection to the attacks.
One of the suspects is a senior gang leader, Chen Tzu-chun, who is alleged to be a main organiser behind the violent protests at the airport. Chen said he was “merely passing by” and denied attempting to attack Joshua Wong.
Law, who was attacked by pro-China protesters at the Hong Kong airport upon returning from Taiwan, previously said that Taiwanese police were clearly more proactive and efficient than their Hong Kong counterparts, who had only made two arrests following violent attacks against Law at the airport.
Meanwhile, Joshua Wong attended another forum with dozens of researchers in Taiwan on Hong Kong democracy movement this weekend. In a social media post on Sunday, Wong did not mention any attacks from pro-China groups, though he thanked Taiwanese police for offering assistance during his visit, and apologised to the Taiwan public for the inconvenience that he had caused.
Wong added that the Hong Kong police had “finally” sent officers to patrol the airport during his arrival at the city’s airport. The force was under heavy criticism for not doing enough to intervene in the attacks against Law and blaming Law for ignoring their advice that it was inappropriate for him to meet with press at the airport.
“I will pay more attention to my safety whenever I attend public or private events, whether in Hong Kong or abroad,” Wong wrote.