Taiwan link is nuclear option for us

Editorial | 14 Jun 2017

The so-called Taiwan Congressional Hong Kong Caucus is claimed by the group of Taiwan lawmakers who are behind it to be nonpartisan, but the reality is that its founders are all deep green in political stripes in that they advocate independence from Beijing.

That shouldn't have surprised anyone in view of the political ecosystem there.

But any association with it should absolutely the last thing on the mind of Hong Kong political activists, for any connection - even an alliance of some sort - can only harm the SAR's dream of greater democracy under the "one country, two systems", "a high degree of autonomy" and "Hong Kong people governing Hong Kong" that are all promised under the Basic Law.

As such, there is no merit in activists Joshua Wong Chi-fung and Nathan Law Kwun-chung attending the launch of the caucus at all. Did they really think they can achieve anything meaningful through such an association?

Taipei has more than enough on its plate. In the latest blow to Tsai Ing-wen since she won the presidential election by a landslide, Panama - the most important country with formal ties to Taiwan - said it is cutting its link in favor of Beijing. That's a huge setback for Taipei and a major victory for Beijing.

Will the Taiwanese have the time and energy to bother with what's happening in the SAR when it has so much to do putting its own house in order? If there is such a person, he or she would most likely be a political opportunist.

In this regard, it is noteworthy to see, ahead of July 1, the Democratic Party issuing a handover anniversary manifesto.

While repeating its well-known stance on democracy, it's noteworthy that the party criticized support for independence and played up its acceptance of the "one country" policy in explicit terms.

In cautioning against advocacy of self-determination or independence, the party said it is a "very risky political gamble."

It added: "The Democratic Party does not advocate Hong Kong moving toward "one country, one system" and we do not support independence for Hong Kong either. We believe we should have the maximum degree of autonomy under the sovereign framework."

The Democratic Party know this is a red line never to be crossed despite its cooperation with radicals in the legislature.

Hence, it could not be more foolish for local teenage activist Lee Sin-yi to have jumped bail and fled to Taiwan in the hope of finding refuge. She is now on a wanted list after failing to appear in court to face charges relating to the Mong Kok riot last year.

Although Taiwan has no extradition treaty with us, overstayers have traditionally been repatriated for the most part.

Lee reportedly plans to seek political asylum but Taiwan authorities said they have yet to receive an application. Even if she submits one, there is no guarantee she would be offered protection due to the lack of a legal basis.

Also, is she not going to come back again even if she succeeds?

As Beijing ramps up the pressure on Taiwan, any attempt by local activists to associate themselves with the independence movement in Taiwan is bound to backfire.

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