MAC to carefully handle residence application by Chinese student

01-May-2019 Intellasia | Focus Taiwan | 6:00 AM Print This Post

The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said Monday that it will handle appropriately an application for long-term residence filed by a Chinese student in Taiwan who is facing difficulties after he criticised Chinese President Xi Jinping in March.

The MAC said in a written statement that it will carefully study the case of Li Jiabao and deal with the relevant agencies in accordance with due process regarding an application he made to remain in Taiwan long-term.

The MAC also said it has instructed the Taipei-based Straits Exchange Foundation to take care of Lee’s needs while he is in Taiwan.

Li delivered the application to both the National Immigration Agency and the MAC earlier in the day, citing his desire to seek political asylum.

Taiwan, however, currently has no laws for the management of refugees.

However, the MAC said the draft Refugee Act and a draft amendment to the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area have been sent to the Legislature for review.

Although Taiwan does not yet have a comprehensive refugee management mechanism, given that human rights are a universal value, the government will handle Li’s case properly, taking into consideration international practices, Taiwan’s relevant laws, precedents and the protection of human rights, the MAC said.

Earlier in the day, the 21-year-old student from Shandong Province applied to the National Immigration Agency (NIA) for long-term residence, citing his desire to seek political asylum.

Noting that his visa will expire July 2, Li said he has no idea what will happen with his application, as Taiwan currently has no related refugee law or mechanisms in place for such cases, but he emphasized that he hopes to stay in the country to complete his studies.

“I’m planning to stay in Taiwan for a long time, no matter how hard life gets here,” he told reporters, adding that he “will definitely be subject to criminal charges of state subversion” if he returns to China.

Li, who is currently enrolled on a short-term programme at Chia Nan University of Pharmacy and Science in Tainan, criticised Xi in a live stream on Twitter March 13 for removing China’s two-term limit on presidential terms last year.

Li argued that with Xi’s move, modern politics in China has become an extension of past autocratic empires.

Asked whether he still faces economic difficulties now that his access to financing from China has been cut following his comments, Li said he has received help from many friends.


Category: Taiwan

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