Citizens should refrain from objectionable activities to avoid enraging Chinese authorities and possible arrests, govt says
People hold candles during a vigil in Hong Kong on June 4, 2018, to mark the 29th anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown in Beijing. Taiwan has warned its citizens to avoid any objectionable activities in Hong Kong that might anger Chinese authorities. (Photo: AFP)
Taiwan’s government warned its citizens visiting Hong Kong to avoid objectionable materials and activities that Chinese authorities may consider seditious and result in their arrest following a barrage of inquiries on the issue.
Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council has issued its citizens a list of prohibited activities in Hong Kong that may be deemed as seditious and inciteful under the Beijing-imposed National Security Law, Radio Free Asia reported on June 21.
Chan Chi-hung, a spokesman for the department stated that a lot of inquiries related to seditious materials and acts in Chinese territories were received by the department, which prompted it to issue a circular.
"Some people call us up and ask if they could get into trouble for singing a song or having a particular song [on their devices]. They even ask if it's risky to wear black,” Chan said.
"There are some ways in which this makes life harder, but we don't want to demonize them and make it even harder for there to be peaceful exchanges between the people of Hong Kong and Taiwan," Chan further added.
The department has asked Taiwanese tourists to avoid carrying electronic tealights, wearing T-shirts referencing the 1989 Tiananmen massacre, or content related to the city's 2019 anti-extradition protests.
Taiwanese tourists have also been advised to avoid publicly shouting or displaying protest slogans including the banned "Free Hong Kong! Revolution Now," playing the British national anthem or appearing to mourn any protesters who died.
The department’s site has a list of potential issues that Taiwanese residents may face due to the national security law while visiting Hong Kong.
The department has also advised citizens to leave their details with the government before they travel in case of any need for assistance.
The national security law has been used to detain and punish pro-democracy activists for acts done even before the law was imposed on Hong Kong, media reports say.
Earlier, Yuen King-ting, 23, was charged on June 15 for "arousing hatred or contempt" for the authorities, unlawful attempts to change "legally enacted matters" and inciting others to break the law by the Hong Kong Police.
The move from the Hong Kong officials came after Yuen had posted one of the banned protest slogans to a Hong Kong forum while she was studying in Japan, an incident that occurred before Beijing imposed the national security law in the territory.
The court granted Yuen a conditional bail stipulating that she deletes all of her social media handles and hand over the data to the police.
The restrictions and uncertainty of detainment and punishment under the draconian national security law have dampened the interest of many to visit Hong Kong.
A Taiwanese resident who identified only as Wang stated that he had no desire to visit Hong Kong under the current circumstances.
"They can just do whatever they want because it's not free or democratic enough [to stop them]," Wang said.
Taiwan, officially the Republic of China, is a democratic and sovereign country that never officially declared independence. China considers Taiwan a renegade province and threatens to annex it militarily.
Taiwan does not have sovereign status in the United Nations due to opposition from China. However, it maintains diplomatic relations with 14 countries and trade relations with some 47 states.
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