søndag 10. oktober 2021

Fear of arrest in Hong Kong over Taiwan national day

For more than 50 years, Ng Hong-lim has led celebrations in Hong Kong to mark Taiwan's national day -– but this year he fears doing so could get him arrested. "I don't think there will be another chance," Ng sighed. "It's really regrettable." October 10 -- known as "Double Ten" -- marks the anniversary of the 1911 uprising which ushered in a new Republic of China (ROC).

After losing China's civil war to the communists in 1949, the Kuomintang (KMT) fled to Taiwan, where the mantle of the republic lived on -- along with its national holiday. In Hong Kong, KMT supporters have long displayed Taiwanese flags and marked the day in grand style. Communist China has long recognised the date's broader historical significance, but officials in Hong Kong are now loath to allow open displays of pro-Taiwan sentiment, as efforts to snuff out any hint of public opposition grow.

Hong Kong's security chief Chris Tang last month warned that celebrating the "Double Ten" could constitute support for Taiwanese independence -- a crime under the city's draconian new security law.