The pro-democracy Occupy Central campaign has aroused interest from Taiwanese politicians and academics. Three pan-democrats visit Taiwan today to discuss plans to hold two seminars there on the electoral reform movement and other activist groups in Hong Kong.
Dr Chan Kin-man, one of the founders of Occupy Central, will address a forum in Taipei on December 5, hosted by Academia Sinica's sociology institute. Chan said he plans to discuss the "one country, two systems" formula, Occupy Central and universal suffrage at the forum.
Labour Party lawmaker Lee Cheuk-yan, who chairs the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China, said he would meet Shih Ming-teh, former chairman of the Democratic Progressive Party, and the New School for Democracy's Taipei office today.
Professor Joseph Cheng Yu-shek, convenor of the Alliance for True Democracy, and the Reverend Chu Yiu-ming, another founding member of the Occupy Central movement, will also travel with Lee.
Lee said Shih and the school hope to hold seminars, in December and January respectively, to discuss civil society and social movements in Hong Kong and Taiwan.
"I can see that the people of Taiwan seem to be starting to warm up [to] these issues," Lee said. "I think it's because they know that we share the same fate [in terms of democratisation]." On previous visits, Lee added, Taiwanese activists seemed less interested about Hong Kong.
Lee also believes that Shih could provide insight for Occupy Central as the former DPP chairman led a million Taiwanese protesters to rally in front of the presidential office in 2007, bringing down the president of the day, Chen Shui-bian.
He hoped the meeting would not upset Beijing as it was just "an exchange among people".