President Tsai Ing-wen on Monday condemned the violence that is taking place in Hong Kong and expressed the hope that peace be restored as soon as possible.
Speaking with the reporters while visiting a construction site for phase two of a mass rapid transit construction project in New Taipei, Tsai urged the police in Hong Kong to practice self-restraint.
Violent suppression is not a solution, she said, stressing that the Hong Kong authorities must address the public’s aspirations for democracy and freedom.
Her statement came a day after foreign media reported that a female protester was seriously injured when a beanbag round, a non-lethal bullet used by police, hit her in the eye, possibly leaving her eyesight permanently damaged.
On Monday, demonstrators staged another sit-in at Hong Kong’s international airport, chanting “an eye for an eye” amid a public outcry over the heavy-handed police response to anti-government protests over the weekend.
In a comment posted later on her Facebook page, Tsai said the international community is seriously concerned about the clashes between police and protesters in Hong Kong.
“We care deeply about the current situation in Hong Kong,” she said.
Also on Monday, Taiwan’s opposition Kuomintang (KMT) issued a statement calling for Hong Kong’s government to resolve the hostilities through rational communication.
The party also expressed hope that peace can be quickly restored to Hong Kong so that the close people-to-people exchanges between the two sides can return to normal.
The anti-extradition bill protests in Hong Kong 10 weeks ago have widened into weekly mass movements calling for democracy and the resignation of Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam.
Hong Kong police have been firing tear gas and rubber bullets into crowds during efforts to disperse them, acts described by some international media as an excessive use of force.