Tue, Aug 15, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Small Three Links? Not for a veteran stranded in China


A 78-year-old veteran returned to his Taoyuan home on Friday after being stranded penniless for several days in Xiamen City in China's Fujian Province, officials from the outlying island of Kinmen said yesterday.

Liu Chia-ho (劉家和) departed for Yunnan Province in southern China on Aug. 10 last year to visit his relatives there, and planned to return to Taiwan via Kinmen, which has a ferry service linking it with Xiamen.

However, when he arrived in Xiamen in early August, Liu was denied entry into Taiwan via Kinmen on the grounds that the ferry service is only for Taiwanese businesspeople working in China and residents of Kinmen.

Liu by this time had run out of money and could not afford to pay for a flight to return to Taiwan via Hong Kong or Macau, which are the regular routes prescribed for ordinary travelers.

He asked the Xiamen authorities to relay his requests for entry permission to the Kinmen County Government, which refused him entry.

Kinmen officials, however, informed the Veteran Affairs Commission in Taipei of Liu's case, and the commission bought Liu a ticket to enable him to return via Macau.

The Kinmen County Government called for the relaxation of the current rules.

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