Taiwan: Political Asylum Offered to Hong Kong Protesters
Last month [July 2019], Taiwan President Tsai Ing-Wen stated that participants in the Hong Kong pro-democracy protests would be allowed political asylum in Taiwan. According to the Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), Taiwan has the political and legal capacity to dealing with such applications. Protests in Hong Kong are set to continue unabated as their demands are unlikely to be met soon; rather, police violence and the threat of Chinese military action have only sparked tensions between the protestors and Chinese and Hong Kong authorities. This underlines the importance of Taiwan as a responsible political actor that respects universal human rights.
Below is an article published by Taiwan News:
Taiwan will give consideration to Hong Kong people who apply for residency in Taiwan under existing regulations, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said Tuesday, amid the violent suppression of protests taking place in Hong Kong.
Taiwan's law governing permits for Hong Kong residents entering Taiwan is capable of dealing with most applications for residency filed by Hong Kong people, said the MAC, which oversees relations with China.
Due consideration will be given if applicants need special assistance, although the MAC has not received any such requests, spokesman Chiu Chui-cheng said.
"Based on our humanitarian spirit and respect for human rights, the government will provide assistance to specific individuals on a case-by-case basis," the spokesman said, without specifying what kind of help might be available.
Under existing regulations, people from Hong Kong can apply for residency in Taiwan if they are studying in Taiwan, are related to Taiwan residents or employed by Taiwan's governments or colleges, have special skills or have made a major contribution to Taiwan.
Taiwan Association for Human Rights Secretary-General Chiu E-ling urged the government to establish a refugee law covering asylum seekers that provides a systematic way to deal with their cases.
The group has argued that Taiwan's existing arbitrary system makes it very difficult for asylum seekers to find refuge in Taiwan.
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