As Director-General of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Boston, I frequently have the opportunity to exchange views with friends in the various state and local governments, academia, and the community at large on a variety of issues. Over the past few weeks, I have been asked about recent developments in Hong Kong and how they may affect Taiwan. As such, I would like to touch base with you to convey Taiwan’s position regarding this important topic.
Hong Kong has captured international attention recently as more than 2 million citizens took to the streets to oppose an extradition law proposed by Beijing that would require citizens of the former British colony be tried in courts in Mainland China under its framework of “one country, two systems.” Beijing has proposed the same failed system for Taiwan.
The 23 million people of Taiwan differ from Hong Kong, however, since they enjoy a robust democracy that ensures individual rights and freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution. The so-called “one country, two systems” model would require that Taiwan relinquish its democratic way of life in exchange for Beijing’s authoritarian rule, something Taiwan clearly rejects.
Taiwan stands with the United States and countries around the world in support of a free and democratic Hong Kong. As the people of Hong Kong have peacefully demonstrated, there is nothing more important than to determine one’s own future. In this regard, Taiwan is pleased to serve as a beacon of hope and a model for the people of Hong Kong and the region. Taiwan stands as a reminder of what can be achieved when freedom prevails.
I very much appreciate the opportunity to convey Taiwan’s position on this issue. I welcome your thoughts and meeting in person at your convenience should you have any questions or would like to discuss the topic further. Please feel free to contact me at: 617-259-1367, or by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org
As the Fourth of July is just around the corner, I wish you a very happy celebration!
Douglas Y.T. Hsu
Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Boston