Taipei plans to offer humanitarian assistance to Hong Kong citizens. Japan and South Korea have expressed concern. The Chinese embassy in Seoul is the scene of protests. India and ASEAN members have not yet reacted.
Hong Kong (AsiaNews) – Taiwan is the only Asian country to strongly condemn China’s Hong Kong security law.
China’s National People's Congress yesterday approved a new security law for Hong Kong that punishes acts and activities that seriously endanger national security.
Under the new legislation, Hong Kong residents may be arrested for subversion, secession, terrorism and collaboration with foreign powers interfering in the Special Region’s affairs.
In response, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen announced that her government would provide humanitarian assistance to Hong Kong citizens who might seek asylum in the island nation.
Japan and South Korea too expressed concern about developments in Hong Kong, but unlike Taiwan, they have not taken any concrete steps.
Japanese authorities said that they will monitor the situation, as it considers Hong Kong to be an "extremely important partner". For Japan’s Foreign Ministry, the territory must maintain its freedoms as established under the ‘one country, two systems’ principle.
South Korea agrees with Japan. But a group of South Koreans staged a protest outside the Chinese embassy in Seoul, calling for an end to the threats to democracy, and for help for the resistance in Hong Kong.
China is the top trading partner of Japan and South Korea. For several observers, this explains the cautious attitude taken by the two countries, caught between China and the United States, their historical ally.
The United States is considering whether to cancel Hong Kong’s favourable trading status. Given the extraterritorial implications of China’s new security law, the Trump administration has called for a meeting of the United Nations Security Council, a demand that China has rejected.
The Association of Southeast Asian Countries has not reacted to the situation, nor has India despite the skirmishes of the past three weeks between Indian and Chinese forces along their Himalayan border.