Taiwan lawmaker Freddy Lim Chang-zuo of the pro-independence New Power Party has criticised Beijing for eroding Hong Kong’s freedom after his visa application to the territory was denied.
Lim, a vocalist of the heavy metal band Chthonic, said on Saturday that he had been unable to obtain a visa to Hong Kong after multiple unsuccessful applications over the past few months. He originally planned to attend a concert of Cantopop star Sam Hui Koon-kit on the same day.
“I’m not surprised that I’m barred from entering Hong Kong,” said Lim. “After all, I heard that applications of Hong Kong visas are sent to Beijing for approval.”
“Hongkongers and the international community know that the Chinese government’s promises of ‘One Country, Two Systems’ and ‘Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong’ were broken long ago,” he said.
“Hong Kong’s freedom is quickly disappearing, with no universal suffrage in sight,” Lim added. “But the efforts of Hongkongers in the past few years have moved the world. I believe Hongkongers’ dream will come true someday. We will also continue sending our support from Taiwan.”
The singer said the last time he visited Hong Kong was in 2014 when his band held concerts in the territory.
Lim has openly voiced support for Taiwan independence. He co-founded the New Power Party following the 2014 student-led Sunflower Movement. With five seats in the legislature, the New People Party is Taiwan’s third largest political party.
Including Lim, at least six Taiwan politicians had been barred from entering Hong Kong in the last three months. Last month, Hong Kong Immigration rejected the visa application of Karen Yu Wan-ju, lawmaker of the ruling party Democratic Progressive Party. In August, four Taiwan politicians were refused a visa.