Taiwanese traveling with legitimate visas are no longer guaranteed entry to Hong Kong, a recent spate of incidents would seem to indicate.
Last month, Chang Chi-yu (
"Even now I still have no idea why I was repatriated," said Chang, who formerly held a position at Chung Hwa Travel Service Hong Kong, Taiwan's representative office in the territory, for four years.
Ming Chu-cheng (
"Not until the Hong Kong media were notified by my friends that I was being detained did the Hong Kong officials let me go," Ming said.
"I frequently travel to Hong Kong, but I never had such an experience before Hong Kong was returned to China [in 1997]," he said.
Adding to the list was an incident in February 2003, when some 80 Taiwanese Falun Gong practitioners arrived for an international conference, but were denied entry for "security reasons."
The incident drew widespread media attention when 10 female members were photographed being put into sacks by police officers and being carried to a plane for deportation.
US-based lawyer Theresa Chu (
They demanded the court to declare the deportation illegal and the abuse inappropriate, but the case was dismissed by the territory's High Court on March 23.
At a press conference organized by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Wang To-far (
Chu said that Justice Michael Hartmann (
In his verdict, Hartmann said that the director was authorized to deny the entry of the Taiwanese plaintiffs because he can exercise "broad discretionary power."
Chu has argued that the deportation was in violation of Article 4 of the Hong Kong Basic Law, which stipulates that the authorities must safeguard the rights and freedoms of Hong Kong residents and of other persons in the administrative region.
Hartmann said the group had only landed in Hong Kong and wasn't really "in Hong Kong."
Commenting on the ruling, Kenneth Chiu (
"Although there was no democracy in Hong Kong before then either, it did have law and order," Chiu said.
The four plaintiffs will appeal to Court of Appeals of the High Court on Monday, she said.