Taipei, -Chinese President Xi Jinping's call for unification between Taiwan and China under a "one country, two systems" formula is a "joke" as Beijing dare not implement universal suffrage in Hong Kong, a Hong Kong pro-democracy activist said in Taipei Tuesday.
If Beijing is serious about having talks with Taiwan about unification under this approach, it should give universal suffrage to Hong Kong as a demonstration of its sincerity about democracy, said Chan Kin-man, a key figure in Hong Kong's Occupy Central pro-democracy movement in 2014.
Speaking at a forum to discuss the 2014 movement and prospects for democracy in East Asia, Chan said that China agreed to ensure Hong Kong a high degree of autonomy and freedoms not enjoyed elsewhere in China when the city was returned from Britain to Chinese rule in 1997, but has reneged on its promise.
Other prominent Hong Kong pro-democracy activists Benny Tai and Chu Yiu-ming were also present at the forum which was hosted by the College of Social Sciences of National Chengchi University.
In their presentations, they shared the view that pro-democracy activists from Hong Kong and Taiwan should not be deterred from engaging in exchanges like this, even in the face of suppression by the Chinese authorities.
They were referring to a recent case in which several young Hong Kong independence activists were tailed by journalists working for Ta Kung Pao, a mouthpiece for the Communist Party of China in Hong Kong, during visits they made to Taiwan.
The allegations made by Beijing that pro-independence activists from Hong Kong and Taiwan have been scheming against its authority reflect its fears of democratic forces growing in the two societies, Chan said.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel