Hong Kong says it has closed its representative office in Taiwan.
Further, officials said the closing of the Hong Kong Economic, Trade, and Cultural Office was caused by Taiwan’s “gross” interference in Hong Kong’s internal affairs, claiming it sought to assist “violent” protesters.
Tension have increased between Hong Kong’s Beijing-backed government and democratically-ruled Taiwan since pro-democracy protests began in Hong Kong in 2019.
Following China imposing a national security law in the city, some Hong Kong activists and others resettled in Taiwan.
In a Friday statement, a Hong Kong government spokesman said that “in recent years, Taiwan has grossly interfered in Hong Kong’s affairs on repeated occasions and created irretrievable damage” to cross-strait relations.
The statement noted Taiwan’s opening an office in Taipei to assist those seeking to leave Hong Kong after the sweeping new security law came into effect.
It said the office offered assistance to “violent protesters and people who tried to shatter Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability” and called Taiwan’s actions “provocative.”
In response, Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council said that China had imposed the security law upon Hong Kong’s people, bringing “catastrophe” to democracy and the enforcement of human rights in the city.
“The Hong Kong government has misinterpreted this as a provocation by our side. This mentality of contempt for democracy and the rule of law reflects the Hong Kong government’s guilty conscience,” the Council said in a statement.
China continues to threaten Taiwan’s independence with repeated military incursions into Taiwan’s air space, as well as by naval ships at sea.