Thu, Oct 31, 2019 - Page 3 News List

‘United front’ performances could be halted: Chen

Staff writer, with CNA

Performances by Chinese artists would be halted if they are deemed to be incompatible with the purpose for which their visas were issued, Mainland Affairs Council Minister Chen Ming-tong (陳明通) told lawmakers on the Internal Administration Committee yesterday.

Chen said cross-strait cultural exchanges are important, but any Chinese citizen who intends to engage in or engages in “united front work” would not be allowed to enter or remain in Taiwan, after Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Chang Hung-lu (張宏陸) asked him about a Chinese group that is scheduled to perform next month.

The Liberty Times (the sister newspaper of the Taipei Times) earlier this week reported that the China Coal Mine Art Troupe, sponsored by the All-China Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese (ACFROC), which is under the United Front Work Department of the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Committee, would perform in Kaohsiung and three counties administered by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).

Concerns have been raised that the group’s show, The Love of a Chinese Family, a Celebration of Taiwan (親情中華, 歡聚台灣), could be “united front” propaganda.

Chen said that a joint meeting, the government decided to deny entry to Liu Qi (劉奇), head of ACFROC’s culture department, who was scheduled to lead the troupe’s tour.

Other members of the group were given visas to perform on condition that they do not engage in activities incompatible with their visa status, he said.

“It is important to maintain cultural exchanges between the two sides, but concerns over the possibility of politically motivated activities in Taiwan by Chinese agents must be heeded,” Chen said.

“If the group is found to engage in activities that are not in compliance with the purpose of its visit, performances here could be halted,” he said.

Asked about Hong Kong resident Chan Tong-kai (陳同佳), who is wanted in Taiwan in connection with the murder of his girlfriend last year, Chen said the government is in close contact with the Hong Kong Police Force about sending him back to Taiwan.

The key to such an arrangement lies in Chan’s willingness to return and the Hong Kong government’s sense of responsibility, he said.

The government has been reluctant to allow Chan to return on his own to surrender to police in Taiwan, due to concern that such a move could give the impression Taiwan is part of China.

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