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Mainland Tourist Seeking Political Asylum Ordered to Depart


Mainland Tourist Seeking Political Asylum Ordered to Depart

Source: China Times

April 19th, 2017
Mainland tourist Chang Hsiangzong (張向忠), who sought political asylum and broke away from his tour group on his own accord, was located by the National Immigration Agency (NIA) last night in the Xindian area of New Taipei City. As Taiwan does not currently have a system offering political asylum, coupled with the fact that Chang cannot prove he was a victim of political persecution and thus does not fall under the criteria for a refugee, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) and the NIA ordered Chang to depart today, April 19th. 
The NIA stated that “we do not currently have a system offering political asylum. Also, according to Article 3 of the Refugee bill, now pending in the Legislative Yuan, the proposed legislation would only apply to foreigners and stateless persons. As such, Mainland citizens do not qualify as refugees.” The MAC, however, suggested an amendment to Article 17 of the Statute Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area with regard to the issue of Mainland citizens requesting political asylum, and this suggestion would be referred to the Legislative Yuan for deliberation.
The NIA pointed out that Chang had applied to visit Taiwan for the purpose of “tour group travel”, and had to first obtain the Exit-Entry Permit for traveling to and from Taiwan from the PRC authorities before being able to visit Taiwan. This differed from the status of political refugees who are commonly not able to leave their national borders freely. By breaking away from his tour group without providing sufficient evidence, Chang had violated the Regulations Governing the Approval of People of the Mainland Area Visiting Taiwan for Purposes of Tourism, and hence will be ordered to depart.

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