Taiwan & Republic of China (ROC)
When protests erupted in Hong Kong in March of 2019, pictures of the city’s streets packed with demonstrators with their faces covered, occupying highways and roads, throwing rocks to policemen or using lasers to invalidate face-recognition cameras travelled across the world. Tear gas and rubber bullets were used against them. Pro-China groups, far from remaining neutral, also had their role in the infighting, waving Chinese flags and confronting Hongkongers wearing or carrying pro-democracy slogans (Topol, 2021).
The triggering cause behind the scenes was possibility for the Extradition Bill to be passed, a deeply unpopular legislative initiative brought upon after the assassination of the Hongkonger Poon Hiu-Wing by her boyfriend Chan Tong-Kai during a holiday trip to Taiwan in 2018. One month after returning to Hong Kong, Tong-Kai confessed his crime, only to find out that he couldn’t be tried, either extradited to Taiwan, since both territories didn’t have an extradition agreement. Five years after the crime, Chan Tong-Kai has served a prison sentence of 29 months for money laundering under HK legislation, but remains to be unpunished for the murder of Poon, despite repeatedly expressing his will to be extradited to Taiwan (Wong, 2022).
Hong Kong’s 21st century: the city of protests
Taiwan or the Republic of China (ROC): the refuge for Hong Kong’s activists