The National Immigration Agency (NIA) yesterday said exiled Chinese democracy activist Wang Dan (王丹) would need to follow due procedure to enter the country, denying him the possibility of being an exception to existing regulations.
The agency announced the resolution after a morning meeting discussing Wang’s case.
NIA Deputy Director-General Chang Chi (張琪) said after the meeting that “the problem lies in the absence of a re-entry permit, because without one, Wang could not even board the plane in the US.”
Wang, who said his persistent dizziness might be a symptom of a brain tumor and asked for the agency’s help to expedite his return to the country for a health check covered by the National Health Insurance, expressed his regret over the decision, but said he respects it.
Wang has been in the US, where he is a permanent resident, since the end of May. He said the government requires Chinese travelers to provide two documents — an Exit and Entry Permit for the Taiwan Area of the Republic of China and an official travel pass for Chinese people — to enter Taiwan.
“In my case, a Chinese passport is out of the question, so I have been asked to provide a re-entry permit issued by the US instead,” Wang said during an interview with radio host Clara Chou (周玉蔻) yesterday morning.
“Since it will take months for me to obtain a US re-entry permit — as it can take a long time for US immigration to process the application — I am simply asking whether it is possible for me to enter Taiwan with the entry permit and my US Green Card,” he said, adding that the Green Card could even better prove that he would be allowed to return to the US.
“I’ve been enrolled in the NHI and have paid my premiums. It’s not like I’m not entitled to the health benefits because I’m a foreigner,” he said.
NIA official Chang Su-hong (張素紅), who joined the interview, said the issuance of the re-entry permit is under “the US’ jurisdiction” and suggested that Wang appeal to the US “since the US is a country of human rights.”
Wang also wrote on Facebook that he respects the Taiwanese government’s decision not to offer help out of humanitarian concern and would seek help from the US Congress and US Department of State to accelerate the processing of his travel documents.
However, he added that it is “completely legitimate” for him to return to Taiwan with a Green Card and a Taiwan entry permit.
Some commentators have denounced Wang’s appeal as a request for special privilege.
Before the interview, Chou, a political pundit, slammed those who derided Wang for his appeal for help, calling their responses “despicable.”
“Affiliates of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) are criticizing Wang, although the KMT strongly supported him back in 1989,” Chou said.
“One of those who voiced strong support for the Chinese dissident years ago was President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九),” Chou said. “I wonder whether [their opposition to Wang] now is because Wang sided with [the Sunflower movement] and is on good terms with his student Chen Wei-ting (陳為廷), one of the movement’s student leaders.”
Chou said that Ma had previously convened a meeting in the Presidential Office chastising National Chengchi University for its failure to find a way to allow baker Wu Pao-chun (吳寶春) — who won the Bakery Master title at the Bakery World Cup in Paris in 2010 and the owner of Wupaochun Bakery — to enroll in the university’s Executive Master of Business Administration program despite only having a junior-high school diploma.
THE CHINA CONNECTION: As Beijing’s aggression increases, so does Taiwanese consciousness, making a new constitution imperative, Hsu Wei-chun said If the nation is to ratify a new constitution, it must first end any illusions about the current document’s relevance to Taiwan, an academic told a forum in Taipei yesterday. For the constitutional revisionist movement to succeed, it needs public enthusiasm, the right timing and a clear plan of action, Chung Yuan Christian University associate professor Hsu Wei-chun (徐偉群) told attendees at the event titled “Imagining a New Constitution for a New Era,” which was organized by the National Taiwan University Graduate Student Association. The Constitution exists under the “one China” framework and has little relevance to Taiwan, Hsu said, adding that
IDENTITY: The time is right to press on with a referendum, as the nation has heightened visibility and support in the global community, the Taiwan United Nations Alliance said The Taiwan United Nations Alliance yesterday said that it is considering launching a petition for a referendum proposal to have the nation join the UN under the name “Taiwan.” Alliance chairman Twu Shiing-jer (涂醒哲) was joined at a news conference in Taipei by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Huang Hsiu-fang (黃秀芳) and leaders of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan and civic organizations. They said that it is the right time for a petition because Taiwan’s visibility on the world stage has increased, as it has been praised for its success in containing its COVID-19 outbreak and for helping other countries by sharing
Former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday urged Beijing to respect the median line of the Taiwan Strait by immediately stopping its military intimidation of Taiwan, as such actions would only hurt the feelings of Taiwanese. Beijing should immediately stop making military provocations against Taiwan, Ma wrote on Facebook after Chinese warplanes in the past week have made numerous forays across the median line that divides the Taiwan Strait. Although it has never officially acknowledged the median line, Beijing used to respect it, Ma said in response to comments on Monday by Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin (汪文斌), who said
An advertisement displayed in the corridor of the underground Taipei City Mall has caused contention online with social media users saying that it depicts Taiwanese bears as servants of Chinese pandas. The advertisement — which imitates the style of an ancient Chinese painting, but replaces people with bears — shows a scene in imperial China, with Formosan black bears laboring, while pandas relax and enjoy beverages. “The development of the tourism industry is important, but this type of targeted advertising is extremely disrespectful — and it makes people uncomfortable,” Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taipei City Councilor Chen E-jun (陳怡君) said. The advertisement, under