DIANA CASTILLO WRITES- Just to bring us all up to date: In Hong Kong, an extradition bill was introduced in April that could have allowed criminal suspects to be extradited to mainland China, where they could have faced unfair trials and been subjected to violence. In addition, the extradition bill could have given China even greater influence over Hong Kong. The introduction of this bill triggered the people of Hong Kong to protest. Hong Kong protestors became victims of police violence –resulting in eye injuries from tear gas, body blows and punctures from sticks and rubber bullets.
All this has understandably come to the rapt attention of many people in Taiwan, the offshore island that Beijing seeks to incorporate into the mainland, as it has Hong Kong. In large part, many Taiwanese have been demonstrating their political and emotional solidarity with Hong Kong protestors through various activities, including rallies for protesters in Hong Kong and filling an underground passageway with thousands of messages of support. Taiwanese supporters are even collecting and donating helmets, gas masks, filters, portable eyewash stations, knee pads, gloves,and goggles to Hong Kong protesters.
Then, too, Taiwan’s governing administration has weighed in symbolically. Taiwan’s National Security Council’s Task Force officially notes that Tsai Ing-wen,Taiwan’s current president, has expressed solidarity with the people of Hong Kong by requesting a peaceful conflict resolution through dialogue. And Taiwan’s government has provided shelter on the offshore island to Hong Kong protesters fleeing possible prosecution.
The world must no longer be a bystander to all this. It must must face the reality that it is everyone’s responsibility to follow Taiwan’s actions and support Hong Kong protestors. Similar to the Taiwanese, we Americans have the duty to strive towards solidarity and protect the human rights, safety, democracy and freedom of Hong Kong protestors.