The protests in the Chinese-controlled city have been widely covered in democratic Taiwan, which China claims as its sacred territory, and are frequently mentioned by Tsai and her ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) on the campaign trail as a warning on the potential dangers Taiwan faces from China.
Writing on his Facebook page over the weekend, Keith Fong, president of the Hong Kong Baptist University Students’ Union, said the DPP only verbally supported the protests and had not enacted specific laws to support the protesters.
People would inevitably suspect that the DPP “only wants to exchange Hongkonger’s sacrifices for Taiwanese people’s votes”, he added.
Tsai’s main opponent in the Jan. 11 presidential election, Han Kuo-yu from the Kuomintang party which favors close ties with China, wrote on his Facebook page on Tuesday that Tsai was using Hong Kong as a “tool” for votes.
Speaking to reporters later on Tuesday, Tsai said that Taiwan had always had a supportive attitude toward the people of Hong Kong taking to the streets to fight for democracy.
What is happening in Hong Kong has also put the people of Taiwan on alert and made them think that the freedom and democratic values Taiwan has must be protected with even greater strength, she added.
“Therefore, when they watch and listen to all the politicians, they pay special attention to the views and determination of these politicians or candidates on these issues,” Tsai said.
“So I do not think we are using Hong Kong people to conduct the election; rather it is a process of self-vigilance by the people of Taiwan after what has happened in Hong Kong.”
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