Beijing must think carefully about how to resolve the Hong Kong protests, as the wrong decision could destroy the result of the territory’s economic development over the past three decades, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) told reporters at Taipei City Hall yesterday.
Ko was asked to comment on a report by the Chinese state-run People’s Daily on Tuesday claiming that the Democratic Progressive Party and groups for Taiwanese independence are providing resources to protesters in Hong Kong.
He was also asked about US President Donald Trump’s tweet yesterday claiming that the Chinese government is moving troops closer to the territory.
“I encourage the Beijing government to think carefully about the problem,” Ko said. “A match does not light a big fire, but now you have a whole barrel of gasoline — the people’s resentment — so the problems will not be solved unless the people’s discontent is resolved.”
“Beijing should think about why every Hong Konger has become filled with resentment [toward the government] after it has controlled Hong Kong for more than 20 years,” Ko said.
Hong Kong has a population of about 7 million and about 2 million people attended a protest in June against a proposed extradition bill, meaning that if children, older people and those working are excluded, almost every Hong Konger attended, he said.
“Do not let it develop into another Tiananmen Square Massacre,” Ko said, adding that while some people might recommend thinking slow and acting fast, he would encourage Beijing to “think slow and act slow,” as its achievements in the past 30 years could be destroyed if it makes the wrong decision.
Separately, the Taipei City Government yesterday confirmed that spokesman Liu Yi-ting (劉奕霆) and deputy spokesman Ke Yu-an (柯昱安) have resigned.
Former representative to the Netherlands Tom Chou (周台竹), deputy convener of the city government’s International Affairs Committee, is expected to formally become a spokesman next week.
Deputy spokeswoman Huang Ching-ying and deputy spokesman Chen Kuan-ting (陳冠廷) are to remain in their positions.
Chou said that he was asked to take the post on Tuesday and immediately accepted, as his more than 30 years of experience in international relations and diplomacy could assist the city government.