Taiwan to ‘adjust’ Hong Kong office operations in ‘one China’ row

Taiwan says Hong Kong is demanding Taiwanese officials sign a ‘One China Commitment Letter’ to obtain work visas.

Protesters in Taipei attend a rally calling on China to release 12 Hong Kong people arrested at sea by mainland authorities [File: Ann Wang/ Reuters]

Taiwan’s government has said it will “adjust” the operations of its office in Hong Kong after authorities there demanded that Taiwanese officials sign a document supporting Beijing’s claim to Taiwan under its one-China policy.

Hong Kong, which is Chinese-ruled, has become another bone of contention between Taipei and Beijing, especially after Taiwan lambasted a security law China imposed on Hong Kong and began welcoming Hong Kong dissidents to the island.

In a statement on Sunday, Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council said that since July 2018 the Hong Kong government has “repeatedly set unreasonable political conditions for staff visas for our Hong Kong office, demanding the signing of a ‘One China Commitment Letter'”.

That has prevented staff for the office from staying there or taking up their posts, it added.

“Starting from June 21, the Hong Kong office will adjust its business handling method,” the council added, without giving details, though it said the office will maintain “necessary operations”.

Taiwanese staff will not sign any such “one China” letter, it added.

China sees democratically ruled Taiwan as part of “one China” and has never renounced the use of force to bring the island under its control.

Last month, Hong Kong suspended operations at its Taiwan representative office, blaming Taipei’s “gross” interference in internal affairs, including with its offer to assist “violent” protesters, accusations Taiwan rejected.

Macau’s government followed suit on Wednesday, saying it would suspend operations at its representative office in Taiwan.

Source: Reuters