Sat, Jan 03, 2009 - Page 3 News List

Critic of KMT allegedly blacklisted by Beijing

ANTI-KMT STANCE An NTU Hospital doctor said it appeared there was a link between his criticism of the government and China’s refusal to grant him a visa

By Wei Yi-chia and Su Yung-yao  /  STAFF REPORTERS

A Taiwanese doctor mocked Chinese President Hu Jintao’s (胡錦濤) recent comments on improving cross-strait exchanges after Chinese authorities refused to accept his visa application because he possessed “special status.”

National Taiwan University Hospital intensive care unit section chief Ke Wen-cher (柯文哲), who has openly criticized the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) and President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) in the past, told reporters that his “Taiwanese compatriot travel documents” (台胞證) application was rejected despite the fact that he was invited to speak at a series of medical lectures in China.

“Taiwanese compatriot travel documents” are issued by authorities in China to Taiwanese who wish to travel to China.

“It is quite ironic that I was rejected the same day as Hu’s proclamation on boosting cross-strait exchanges,” said Ke, adding that Chinese consular officers had refused to process his applications because they said Ke was a man of “special status.”

Ke said he had traveled to China at least a dozen times during the former Democratic Progressive Party’s rule. However, despite warming cross-strait relations and Hu’s purported efforts to increase cross-strait exchanges, he said has now been restricted from entering China.

“If my criticism of Ma and the KMT is the reason why I have been blacklisted, then I will take the rejection as a sign that the Taiwanese public approves of me and that I have made some contribution to society,” he said.

Ke, known for being outspoken, made news when he volunteered to treat a man who had been speared by a metal pole during the protests against Chinese envoy Chen Yunlin (陳雲林) during his visit to Taiwan in November.

The Straits Exchange Foundation, which represents Taiwan in all cross-strait negotiations and communications, said it was looking into the matter.

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