As Hong Kong is staring at an uncertain future amid months of violent clashes, protesters have now started seeking asylum in Taiwan. In recent times, Taiwan has been witnessing an influx from Hong Kong as the permanent and short-term residency shot up to 30 per cent in a period of nine months.
Asylum seekers from Hong Kong feel that there are too many external forces acting in the semi-autonomous region of China which could change the course of events dramatically. They fear that the city will never be the same after what happened in the past six months. Protesters are of the opinion that Taiwan is democratic and has freedom of speech, unlike China. Though Taiwan lacks a legal mechanism to provide asylum or accept refugee applications, there are various ways for Hong Kong citizens to move to Taiwan, including investment visas.
The violent protests erupted due to proposed legislation that would have allowed extraditions to the mainland and became violent with every passing day. Protesters were furious over China’s increased interference and felt that rights promised to them were getting eroded with time. Around 6,000 protesters have already been arrested as a result of the demonstrations. But several protesters want to keep fighting for their rights by staying in Hong Kong.
“It’s still a very early stage of the revolution,” said a masked activist. “People are tired physically and mentally, so we are waiting for the right moment for a fightback,” he added.
Police have now taken complete control of Hong Kong Polytechnic University after the protesters made university campus as their battlefield for anti-government protests. Anti-Beijing protesters have been finding new ways to fight the police officers during the violent clashes. They have resorted to medieval weapons like bow and arrows and bricks and nails. On November 17, protesters turned a construction site upside down as part of the “Rescue PolyU” operation, to regain the control of the University.