China fears Taiwan response to ‘Hong Kong’ actions

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Beijing says Taiwan will never be fully independent from China

Taiwan says China’s recent moves on Hong Kong are worrying, a day after those moves caused a diplomatic row with Taiwan.

Prime Minister Tsai Ing-wen said it would be a “consequence” of that for Taiwan.

Beijing is concerned the new, Beijing-backed government in Hong Kong will have different, independence-leaning views on the country.

It has urged Hong Kong’s prefectures to limit a conference that is due to be held this weekend.

It also criticised two Taiwan officials for campaigning on Hong Kong’s behalf.

‘Suspicious motive’

“China should be worried about the realisation that Hong Kong has not only a democratic law abiding government but also a government that will have different, independent views on the issue of separating the country from the mainland,” Ms Tsai told reporters at the presidential office in Taipei.

“It is for that reason we are deeply concerned that this kind of action will have a consequence for Taiwan as well,” she said.

The official issue between Taiwan and China is over Taiwan’s unofficial government, an administration that says it has no formal political ties with Beijing.

Last year, the European Union agreed to allow Taiwan some official contact with the EU, such as a visit from a minister or a subsidiary.

“If Taiwan is to be independent, as an island state, China should be satisfied with only achieving Taiwan as a part of China, with as little meddling or pressure,” she said.

Image copyright AFP Image caption China said its officials should not be openly campaigning in Hong Kong

Taiwan’s foreign ministry had issued travel warnings to its nationals in Hong Kong after Taiwan’s foreign ministry was summoned.

Officials also said officials had warned Taiwan businesses that mainland China would be stepping up pressure to have businesses pull out of the territory.

Mr Tsai also accused China of using Hong Kong’s political problems to “harass” Taiwanese.

And the foreign ministry said it believed the new Hong Kong chief executive, Carrie Lam, was taking a different approach than her predecessor, Leung Chun-ying.

“She made an oath that is pro-China, which is more towards Taiwan than Leung Chun-ying,” the ministry said in a statement.

Earlier this week, Taiwan’s diplomatic representative to Hong Kong, Ms Shu-Hung Su-chang, resigned.

Taiwan’s consulate in Hong Kong also protested a campaign by Taiwan’s Chinese liaison officer to have her official title changed, following a directive by the Chinese central government.

The move came ahead of a conference of Hong Kong’s chief secretaries on Sunday.

After months of hearings, Hong Kong’s circuit court ruled last month that Chief Secretary Carrie Lam was the country’s official representative in the former British colony.

Ms Lam was “chosen by the central government and she will work hard to maintain and strengthen the continuity and peaceful development of Hong Kong,” the court said.

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