Survey shows 54.5% of Taiwanese support office assisting Hong Kongers

Wanchai, Hong Kong. (Photo courtesy of CNA)

TAIPEI (CNA) — More than half of the people in Taiwan support the recent establishment of an office to assist Hong Kongers affected by the new national security law imposed by Beijing on the territory, a survey released by the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) on Thursday showed.

The survey, conducted from July 29 to August 3, indicated that 54.5 percent of the Taiwanese respondents agreed to the setting up of the Taiwan-Hong Kong Services and Exchanges Office, which began to operate on July 1.

Only 33.0 percent of the respondents disagreed with the move, while another 12.5 percent were undecided, the survey showed.

The office, under MAC, is tasked with helping Hong Kong people who wish to study, work, invest or start their new life in Taiwan due to Beijing’s enactment of the Hong Kong security law on June 30, which criminalizes the acts of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces.

Article 38 of the law said it applies to any person who commits those offenses against Hong Kong, including those who are not a permanent resident in the Chinese special administrative region.

In response to the controversial article, 84.0 percent of Taiwanese people objected to Beijing’s inclusion of the entire world into its jurisdiction in enforcing the law, according to the same survey.

Also, 84.9 percent of the respondents said they were against the law’s Article 43, which requires agents or political organizations of foreign countries and Taiwan to provide information on activities concerning Hong Kong to the territory’s authorities, the survey said.

The survey found 79.8 percent of the Taiwanese people were opposed to Hong Kong government’s move to impose political conditions before issuing visas to Taiwanese officials assigned to Hong Kong, such as requiring that they first sign a document recognizing that Taiwan is a part of China.

According to MAC, Taiwan’s Cabinet-level agency in charge of cross-strait relations, the survey showed that most Taiwanese think the Chinese government has destroyed the “one country, two systems” model and harmed cross-strait relations with its recent actions.

The MAC also urged the Chinese side not to misinterpret the situation across the Taiwan Strait and attempt to create conflicts or alter the status quo.

The survey, conducted by National Chengchi University on behalf of MAC, collected 1,071 valid questionnaires from people age 20 or above. It had a confidence level of 95 percent and a margin of error of plus or minus 2.99 percentage points.