New Bloom’s Brian Hioe dissects an interesting dialogue with political activists and legislators from Taiwan and Hong Kong.
The News Lens
By: Brian Hioe
A visit by Hong Kong legislators to Taiwan over the past weekend for a conference organized by the New Power Party (NPP) has seen protests from pro-China groups in Taiwan, as well as warnings from China against Taiwanese independence activists and Hong Kong independence activists seeking to ally with each other. Visiting Hong Kong legislators include Nathan Law of Demosistō, Eddie Chu, and Edward Yiu, as well as Joshua Wong, also of Demosistō, one of the leading activists of the Umbrella Movement. On the Taiwan side, participants included Sunflower Movement leader Lin Fei-Fan and Wu Cheng of Democracy Tautin, all five of the NPP’s current legislators, and various staff members of both Hong Kong and Taiwanese legislators.
Notably, none of the invited legislators from Hong Kong actually explicitly advocate Hong Kong independence. To begin with, if they did, that would have likely prevented them from running in legislative elections, given the refusal of the Hong Kong government to allow pro-independence political candidates to run, an action no doubt undertaken at Beijing’s behest. Rather, these are politicians which call for greater political autonomy for Hong Kong, but without a necessarily pro-independence stance. Despite misleading reports which claim otherwise, none of the invited legislators are actually “localists” along the lines of Youngspiration’s Baggio Leung and Yau Wai Ching. Although Eddie Chu is sometimes seen as a predecessor of contemporary Hong Kong localism, his more civic-oriented political platform distinguishes him from localists who have risen to recent public attention as Baggio Leung, Yau Wai Ching, and Edward Leung. [FULL STORY]