PROTESTS

Hong Kong police won't study 'occupation' of Taipei's legislature

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 02 April, 2014, 3:35am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 02 April, 2014, 3:35am

Hong Kong does not intend to draw on the experience of Taiwanese police in dealing with protests that occupy particular locations, such as the legislature, Secretary for Security Lai Tung-kwok says.

Lai was addressing concerns among lawmakers as student protesters in Taipei entered their third week of occupying the Legislative Yuan.

"Up to now, we have no plans to send anyone to Taiwan to study how they handle such incidents," he told the Legislative Council's Finance Committee yesterday. "The police are well prepared and we have absolute faith in them, that they will be able to execute their duties impartially, and to protect the public's interest as well as the daily operations of businesses from any interruption."

Lai also touched on the Occupy Central civil disobedience movement, which threatens to blockade Central in an effort to call for genuine universal suffrage for the 2017 chief executive election.

He called the campaign "a threat" intended to "force" the Beijing and Hong Kong governments to accept its demands, and appealed to the public to petition in a lawful and peaceful manner. Blocking traffic at the heart of the city would be a breach of the peace and the government would take it seriously.

But asked if measures were being put in place to prevent a Taipei-style takeover of the legislature, Lai said he believed most Hongkongers were law-abiding.

Police would be happy to offer advice to Legco addressing any possible occupation, he said.

Since March 18, Taiwanese students have occupied the legislature demanding the withdrawal of a cross-strait trade pact.

Police in riot gear used water cannons to remove a smaller group of students from government offices.