China’s Taiwan Affairs Office has strongly opposed several Hong Kong pro-democracy lawmakers’ visit to Taiwan to establish a congressional group on Hong Kong affairs.

On Monday, politicians including Nathan Law, Eddie Chu, Ray Chan and Joshua Wong attended a press conference in Taipei to announce a cross-party platform promoting Hong Kong’s democratic development. The Taiwan Congressional Hong Kong Caucus was formed by Huang Kuo-chang of the independence-leaning New Power Party with lawmakers from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party.

Ma Xiaoguang
Ma Xiaoguang. File

Ma Xiaoguang, a spokesperson for the Office, said: “We strongly oppose the collusion of Taiwan and Hong Kong’s independence forces to interfere in the implementation of the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ principle in Hong Kong, and to destroy the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong.”

“The plot and [their] actions are not welcomed by the people and will never succeed,” Ma added at a regular press conference on Wednesday.

But Nathan Law dismissed criticism of the meeting, saying they were merely excuses.

Establishment of the Taiwan Congressional Hong Kong Caucus
Establishment of the Taiwan Congressional Hong Kong Caucus. Photo: Ray Chan, via Facebook.

“The Democratic Progressive Party, which has been labeled a Taiwan independence force, is now the ruling party. The [pro-Beijing] DAB party also formed a group to visit them in 2008,” he said on Tuesday. “It shows how ridiculous the claim of collusion with Taiwan independence forces is – also, it is normal to have interactions in civil societies.”

“Beijing has long implemented an isolation policy on Hong Kong which claims that fighting for international support is equal to colluding with foreign forces – an attempt to keep us from interacting with foreign civil society on the development of policies and democracy,” he added.

“But Hong Kong is an international city – we cannot stop and let Beijing control us. Fighting for international support is a necessary part of democratic progress.”

Joshua Wong Agnes Chow
Photo: Facebook/Agnes Chow.

See also: Hong Kong must nip any form of separatism in the bud, says Chief Exec. CY Leung

On Tuesday, the pro-Beijing Wen Wei Po newspaper also slammed Joshua Wong and Agnes Chow, both of Law’s Demosisto party, for attending talks in Japan on Wednesday.

They are speaking at the University of Tokyo on Hong Kong’s democratic progress over the past 20 years.

“This is their second time in a month conducting anti-China talks in Japan,” the report said. It claimed that Wong may meet with Japanese lawmakers in order to “use individual Japanese anti-China lawmakers to intervene in Hong Kong affairs.”

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.