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Taiwan warns Chinese who damage 'Lennon Walls' could be barred from returning

Taiwan warns Chinese who damage 'Lennon Walls' could be barred from returning

Pro-China supporters clean up “Lennon Walls” of anti-government posters and memo outside Yuen Long MTR station in Hong Kong, China on Sep 21, 2019. (Photo: Reuters/Tyrone Siu)

TAIPEI: Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen warned on Thursday (Oct 3) that mainland Chinese who attacked Hong Kongers or damaged "Lennon Walls" in the island could be barred from returning. 

The walls that have sprung up across Hong Kong have also been set up in Taiwan, mostly in university campuses. They are filled with colourful sticky-notes, posters and slogans written in support of the months-long protests in Hong Kong. 

But there has been a recent spate of incidents involving Chinese nationals vandalising these walls at Taiwan universities or attacking Hong Kong students, local media reported. 

"Such incidents will not be tolerated. The entry of people involved should be restricted to certain degree in the future to maintain our rule of law and social order," Tsai told reporters.

Taiwan held a Hong Kong solidarity rally last weekend which was largely peaceful, although Hong Kong popstar Denise Ho - a staunch democracy advocate - had red paint thrown at her by an unidentified assailant as she spoke to local media.

READ: Pro-Beijing groups tear down some of Hong Kong's 'Lennon Walls'

READ: Sydney and Taiwan kick off global protests for Hong Kong

"Do not attempt to provoke Taiwan's democracy and the rule of law. We will not allow such behaviours to continue to happen in Taiwan," Tsai said in a message posted on her Facebook after the incident.

Taiwan has been a de facto sovereign nation since the end of a civil war in 1949, but China still views the island as its territory and has vowed to seize it - by force if necessary.

Tsai, who is seeking a second term in January, has described the coming election as a "fight for freedom and democracy", setting herself up as someone who can defend Taiwan from an increasingly assertive Beijing.

She has pledged to provide assistance to Hong Kongers facing prosecution for involvement in anti-government protests who seek sanctuary on the island, sparking a rebuke from Beijing to "stop meddling" in the territory's affairs.

Source: AFP/ga

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