Hong Kong protesters appeal to Merkel before China visit

Hong Kong democracy activist Joshua Wong, a central figure in the territory's ongoing mass anti-Beijing protests, urged Taiwanese people on Tuesday to hold their own demonstrations as they face growing pressure from China.

Many Western fashion brands have been forced to clarify their positions on Chinese sovereignty as the Hong Kong protests fuel nationalist fervour on social media.

Hong Kong has been convulsed by months of unrest since its government announced attempts to make it easier to extradite suspects to China, a move seen as a prelude to bringing the pluralistic autonomous region more in line with the mainland.

Lam stated her actions caused "unforgivable havoc" and claimed she would remove herself as Hong Kong's leader, if possible, for setting off the political crisis, according to Reuters.

Last but not least, Wong said he hopes to rally more Taiwanese support for Hong Kong during his trip.

The ultimate goal for Hong Kong people is to become like Taiwan, a place where freedom and democracy prevail, he stressed. "Hong Kong can be like Taiwan, a place for freedom and democracy".

Wong told reporters Tuesday that the protesters are calling for the withdrawal of the controversial bill and demand Hong Kong police not use violence against the people.

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The protests have evolved into a wider democracy campaign involving clashes between protesters and police, in the biggest challenge to China's rule of Hong Kong since its 1997 handover from the British.

Wong began his activism as a university student during Hong Kong's Umbrella Movement protests of 2014, and was later jailed for his role.

Under the invitation of the Light Foundation, Wong, Chu and Shum will take part in a discussion forum hosted by Lin Fei-fan Tuesday evening in Taichung.

In a letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel carried by the Bild newspaper, Wong referred to the civil rights movement which nearly three decades ago successfully toppled the Communist regime in East Germany, where Merkel grew up.

Merkel spent four decades living in communist East Germany, working as a research scientist until the end of the Cold War led to reunification in 1990.

"You have first-hand experience of the terrors of a dictatorial government", Wong wrote, in reference to Merkel's upbringing in the Soviet-backed regime of the German Democratic Republic (GDR).

"The Germans courageously stood at the forefront of the fight against authoritarianism during the 80s", they wrote, stressing that they share the same democratic principles.

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