The SAR government on May 18 announced the decision to suspend its representative office in Taiwan, adding that the decision was not related to the recent rise in coronavirus cases in Taiwan.

The tension between Hong Kong's Beijing-backed government and Taiwan has risen since pro-democracy protests erupted in Hong Kong in 2019 and China responded by imposing a sweeping national security law in the city that prompted many activists to leave, some for Taiwan.

In response to media enquiries today, a SAR government spokesman said Taiwan's series of actions in recent years has severely damaged Hong Kong-Taiwan relations, gradually jeopardizing the operating environment for the Hong Kong Economic, Trade and Cultural Office in Taiwan.

The spokesman stated that staff members of the office have been threatened by radicals in Taiwan, posing uncertainties and narrowed the room for promoting Hong Kong-Taiwan exchanges in various areas.

The spokesman also said Taiwan has been offering assistance to violent protesters and people who tried to shatter Hong Kong's prosperity and stability.

“Most notably, Taiwan has launched the so-called "Hong Kong Aid Project" and unilaterally established the so-called "Taiwan-Hong Kong Office for Exchanges and Services" under the Taiwan-Hong Kong Economic and Cultural Co-operation Council, which go against the founding purpose of the council,” the spokesman added.

Taiwan's government said that while it respected the SAR government’s decision of suspending the operation of its representative office, it also regretted it.

"We express deep regret at today's unilateral decision by the Hong Kong government," Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council said in a statement.