This SNA Speakeasy features Brian Hioe on the theme of “Taiwan’s Response to the Hong Kong Crackdown.”
Campaigners for the removal of Kaohsiung’s mayor in an unprecedented vote on Saturday have linked their fight to get rid of the populist, China-friendly Han Kuo-yu with Hong Kong protesters’ fight for democracy.
People in Hong Kong knew in their gut that this day would come, the day when there would be an inevitable showdown with China over the former British colony’s autonomy and desire for full democracy in all its governing institutions.
The return of Shinzo Abe to the Japanese premiership was expected to lead to renewed efforts to build ties with fellow democracies, albeit within a pragmatic framework designed not to give the appearance of an explicit containment policy vis-à-vis China. The early foreign trips by some key members of the administration, including Abe himself, to Southeast Asia, made it clear that this would indeed be on the agenda.