Taiwan said it would offer humanitarian assistance to Hong Kong protesters who arrive in Taiwan, a day after intensified violence in the city left 13 people injured, including one woman shot in the eye with a pellet round.
During the unrest on Sunday, marking the tenth straight weekend of protests, Hong Kong police fired tear gas inside a subway station and shot rubber bullets and pepper pellets at protesters at close range. In one case, a female medic was hospitalized after being shot in the eye with a pellet round.
Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), in a video post on Facebook on Aug. 12, said the self-ruled island “cannot ignore the violent actions by the Beijing and Hong Kong governments.”
“Hong Kong people are experiencing … a bloody crackdown minus the tanks,” the post read, alluding to the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre when the communist regime deployed the military to violently suppress student protesters in Beijing.
The video showed images from the events on Aug. 11, including a bloodied protester pinned down by police and the woman injured in the eye.
The DPP said that the island stands with the Hong Kong protesters, adding that Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen and government agencies would provide humanitarian assistance in individual cases.
The protests in Hong Kong, initially in opposition to now-suspended extradition bill that would allow people to be transferred to the mainland for trial, has now morphed into wider calls for democracy in defiance of central authorities in Beijing. The events are being closely followed in Taiwan, which is set to go the polls next year in an election where the island’s relationship with Beijing is set to be a major issue.
Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said in a press conference on Aug. 13 the government would take into account humanitarian claims made by Hong Kong people arriving to Taiwan in need of assistance.
MOFA’s Deputy Spokesperson Ou Jiang-an said the government was concerned by recent events in Hong Kong, adding that it was continuing to closely monitor developments in the city.
Tsai said in a Twitter post on Aug. 12 that the “international community is seriously concerned about the clashes between police and protesters in Hong Kong.”
“Violent suppression is not a solution,” she wrote. “To return to peace & prosperity, the Hong Kong authorities must address the public’s aspirations for democracy and freedom.”