Fri, Oct 19, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Chinese asylum seekers not to be sent back, but further inquiry needed: MAC

Staff writer, with CNA

Taiwan will not send back two Chinese passport-holders who last month applied for political asylum during a transit stop at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, a Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) spokesman said on Wednesday.

Council Deputy Minister Chiu Chui-cheng (邱垂正) did not respond directly when asked whether the government would help the two asylum seekers, who were being detained at the airport, to resettle in a third country, saying only that the government has done “a lot” to help them.

The council said in a statement that it had collaborated with the National Immigration Agency and had dispatched staff to the airport several times to gain a better understanding of the situation, but were still investigating the case.

The government would ensure the two applicants’ safety during their time in Taiwan and would handle the case in line with international practice, national laws and regulations, and past precedent, while taking human rights protection and international media coverage into account, the council said.

On Sept. 27, 43-year-old Yan Kefen (顏克芬) and 63-year-old Liu Xinglian (劉興聯) arrived at the airport on a flight from Thailand and were scheduled to continue on to China. However, they did not board the China-bound flight.

Immigration officers later found that Yan and Liu held refugee certificates issued by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

The pair allegedly experienced political persecution in China and expressed hope that they could apply for political asylum in Taiwan, immigration officers said.

They have also contacted the US and Canadian governments through contacts in those countries in the hope of receiving political asylum there before leaving Taiwan.

They were still being held in a restricted area of the airport yesterday.

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