“China and Taiwan split in 1949 after nationalist forces lost a civil war to Mao Zedong’s communists, fleeing to the island which Beijing has since vowed to seize one day, by force if necessary.
“The law makes me dislike China even more,” 18-year-old student Sylvia Chang said.
“They had promised 50 years unchanged for Hong Kong but they are getting all the more heavy-handed... I am worried it could be Taiwan tomorrow.” Over the years China has used threats and inducements, including a promise Taiwan could have the “One Country, Two Systems” model that governs Hong Kong, supposedly guaranteeing liberties and a degree of autonomy for 50 years after the 1997 handover.
Both Taiwan’s two largest political parties long ago rejected the offer, and the new security law has incinerated what little remaining faith many Taiwanese may have had in Beijing’s outreach.
Some now fear even transiting through Hong Kong, worried that their social media profiles could see them open to prosecution under the legislation.
The law “makes China look bad, distancing themselves further from people,” political analyst Alexander Huang said.