TAIPEI | ” We are the future “: in Taiwan, the decision by china to impose a draconian law on safety in Hong Kong shaken, accentuating the fear of seeing the island and its democracy to become the next target of Beijing.
Communist China has vowed to one day recover the control, by force if necessary, of the island where there were refugees chinese nationalists after their defeat by the communists, at the end of the civil war of 1949.
“This law makes me even more hate China,” says AFP Sylvia Chang, student of 18 years on the campus of the national Taiwan University. “They had promised Hong Kong 50 years without change, but are tightening their grip “.
“I am concerned to see the Hong Kong of today become the Taiwan of tomorrow “.
China has regularly used the carrot and the stick to Taiwan, promising to benefit from the principle of “one country, two systems” implemented in Hong Kong after the return of 1997 and meant to guarantee him for 50 years, a certain degree of autonomy with freedoms unknown on the mainland.
An offer rejected for a long time by the two major political parties in taiwan. The new law has destroyed the little confidence in Beijing that might still exist in Taiwan.
Fear of transiting through Hong Kong
Many are afraid now to go to Hong Kong, fearing that they would be prosecuted for their activities on social networks.
The law “shows China in a bad light, even more far removed from hong Kong without talking about the people on the other side of the strait in Taiwan,” said to the AFP Alexander Huang, a political analyst from the University of Tamkang.
Beijing has stepped up its diplomatic pressure, economic and military to isolate the island after the election as president in 2016’s Tsai ing-wen, the democratic progressive Party (PDP). Ms. Tsai, triumphantly re-elected in January, considers Taiwan as a sovereign State de facto and rejects the chinese vision of a ” single China “.
Over the years, especially since the lifting of the state of emergency on the island in 1987, an identity of taiwan distinct appeared. Pressure the chinese have not helped Beijing to win the heart of the 23 million inhabitants.
Some 67 % (a record) self-refer to this as “Taiwanese” and not Taiwanese-Chinese or Chinese, 10 % more than last year, according to a survey of regular University national cheng chi. They were only 18 % in 1992.
Taiwan is today one of the democracies the most progressive in Asia. The youth is wary of large neighboring authoritarian. The social networks are filled with messages supporting the pro-democracy movement of Hong Kong, the independence of Taiwan, or denouncing the violations chinese human rights in Tibet or in Xinjiang.
Wendy Peng, a journalist of 26 years to the shares frequent in favor of the activists, pro-democracy in Hong Kong, account avoid. “The national security act prompts me to ask how far can go the China. At this time, I do not see the limit, and there is probably no. I think it possible that Taiwan is the next target “.
The new law authorizes for the first time the device safe chinese to settle openly in Hong Kong. Its article 38 stipulates that infringements of the national security committed abroad, even by foreigners, may be subject to prosecution.
“Celestial Empire “
The police in hong kong has made it clear that support for the independence of Hong Kong, Taiwan, Tibet or Xinjiang is now illegal.
“It is a law of general scope, it covers everything that China wants to define or interpret “, told AFP Patrick Wu, a 31-year-old employee of university. “I don’t know if the “likes” or messages that I left on the social networks can be pursued “.
Last week, Chen Ming-tong, the minister of taiwan Affairs continental, has accused Beijing of wanting to become a “celestial empire” with the power exacerbated imposing its law ” subjects in the world “.
Lin Fei-fan, deputy general secretary of the PDP, has warned “the Taiwanese-based” that they were at risk of arrest for “business fabricated” by visiting Hong Kong. He cited the case of Lee Ming-che, an employee of an NGO in taiwan imprisoned in China for 2017.
For the editorialist Sung Chen-en, the law “creates a lot of uncertainty on what can be said to be” well beyond Hong Kong. “If everyone is restricted, there is more freedom of everything “.
Hong Kong: the police with extensive powers of surveillance
Under the new law on national security, the powers of the police in hong kong in the area of safety have been significantly expanded Monday in the area of surveillance.
The police may search without a warrant if they believe there is a threat of “imminent” to the national security.
The announcement comes as Facebook, Google and Twitter have confirmed that they would no longer to requests for information on their users from the government and the authorities in Hong Kong, by respect for freedom of expression.
This new provision, which was unveiled Monday night in a document of 116 pages, removes a large part of the judicial review, which up to now allowed to frame the powers of the police in terms of surveillance.
The chief of police has also been given the power to control and remove on the internet any information whether there are “reasonable grounds” for believing that it violates the national security act.
The police may order the undertakings of the sector, and the internet service providers to remove any information and seize all their equipment.
In the case where they refuse to run, they would be subject to fines and a sentence of up to one year in prison.
The companies are also required to provide records of identification, as well as assistance to enable it to decrypt data.
According to the document made public, the chief executive Carrie Lam was granted broad powers in the field of security surveillance, such as intercepting communications.
The chief of police may request of the political organizations, international (including taiwan) to provide information on their activities in Hong Kong, including personal data, their sources of income and their expenses.
The new law makes illegal certain political views such as support for independence or for greater autonomy of the territory.
According to lawyers, these new surveillance powers are broad and lack of control.
“The new provisions are frightening, because they provide powers to the police forces that are normally monitored by the judiciary,” said the lawyer Anson Wong Yu-yat daily hong kong South China Morning Post.
The national security act, imposed on 30 June by the chinese regime, is turning more radical to Hong Kong since its handover by the Uk to China in 1997.
It aims to crack down on subversion, secession, terrorism and the collusion with foreign forces.
The chief executive in hong kong has defended Tuesday the new chinese law, she is committed to ” apply vigorously “, believing that it would restore the stability in the territory.