Chinese dissident Wang Xizhe (王希哲), who fled to the US in 1996 after being jailed in China for advocating democracy, is not welcome in Taiwan because he has been labeled an advocate of unification through the use of force, Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Deputy Minister Chiu Chui-cheng (邱垂正) said on Friday.
Had Wang, 70, flown to Taiwan from Hong Kong as planned this weekend, he would have been ordered to leave, Chiu said.
Wang was invited by the China Unification Promotion Party (CUPP) to attend its seminar in Taiwan on cross-strait relations from Tuesday to Saturday next week.
Photo: Chung Li-hua, Taipei Times
As the seminar’s theme “was highly related to unification by force,” five of the people invited to the event, including Wang, were all listed as “unwelcome figures,” Chiu said.
President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Tuesday instructed that Chinese nationals who have advocated for the use of military force against Taiwan be barred from entering the nation when necessary.
The order followed the deportation last week of Chinese academic Li Yi (李毅), who was scheduled to speak at a CUPP seminar, after he promoted the use of force to unify Taiwan and China.
Other members of the group were reportedly Li Su (李肅), the head of the Beijing-based Modern Think-tank Forum, and US-based China studies academics Feng Shengping (馮勝平) and Guo Yanhua (郭岩華).
Wang was prevented from entering Hong Kong and was deported to the US on Monday, according to media reports.
The Hong Kong Immigration Department did not explain the reason for the deportation.
Wang was convinced he was denied entry into the territory because he planned to travel to Taiwan from Hong Kong, Hong Kong-based Chinese-language newspaper Ming Pao reported.
After Li Yi’s deportation, Wang reportedly issued an open letter defending himself, saying that he was not an “advocate of unification by force.”
He criticized the council’s practice of not allowing people to enter Taiwan before they make their speeches, which he said was a “violation of the principles of freedom of speech, freedom and democracy, and the rule of law that Taiwan’s authorities have upheld.”
Wang has been in exile for two decades after publishing a joint statement in 1996 with Chinese Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo (劉曉波), calling on the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), which was then the ruling party in Taiwan, to begin negotiations for the “peaceful and democratic unification of China.”
Liu was sentenced without a trial to three years in a labor camp in October that year, because of the statement.
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