Taiwan flags to test legal system
A pro-Taiwan trade union council will put Hong Kong's legal autonomy to the test by displaying two Taiwan national flags at its Double Tenth Festival celebration in Mongkok on Friday.
Speaking after an executive committee meeting last night, Lee Kwok-keung of the 28,000-strong Hong Kong and Kowloon Trades Union Council said he thought the display of Taiwan's national flag would be acceptable to the SAR Government as Hong Kong was under the 'one country, two systems' model.
The SAR Government has not said whether it will take legal action against groups which publicly hoist Taiwan's national flag.
Asked whether they feared prosecution for hoisting the flag in Hong Kong, Mr Lee said: 'It should be all right. It's a private dinner.
'We did that in previous years. The possibility is not big.' Asked if they thought the Government would accuse them of advocating 'two Chinas' or 'one China, one Taiwan', he said: 'The fact is that there are two political entities here.
'For several decades, we have been supporting this [Taiwan].
'We are not provocative. We only talked about the celebration activity because of the Double Tenth Festival. We would not mention it on ordinary days.' Although some members had suggested that the Kuomintang flag, instead of Taiwan's national flag, be hoisted at the Double Tenth Festival, the proposal was not adopted.
However, the council decided that it would, for the first time in its 49-year history, not play the national anthem of Taiwan during the festival.
Asked if the union members thought people would call them cowards if they did not play the Taiwanese national anthem this year, Mr Lee said: 'That's why we have to strike a balance. If we don't even display [Taiwan's] national flag, members might not be satisfied.
But he said if they did everything as they had done before the handover, the SAR Government 'might not be satisfied'.
The council will not fly the Taiwan national flag on the streets as it did in previous years.
'If we fly the flags on the streets, we will have to find someone to keep an eye on them round the clock to avoid people damaging them,' Mr Lee said.
The council has invited Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa's special adviser Paul Yip Kwok-wah to attend Friday's celebration.