MAC defends its decision on asylum seeker from China

By Jewel Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Sat, Oct 28, 2006 - Page 3

Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) Vice Chairman Johnnason Liu (劉德勳) said yesterday there was a standard procedure for dealing with requests for political asylum.

Liu made the remarks at a press conference in reference to a recent case where a Chinese tourist sought political asylum in Taiwan. He said that it was difficult for the Taiwanese government to respond in such a case as the tourist had arrived in Taiwan on a legally obtained tourist visa.

Chinese tourist Jia Jia (賈甲) fled from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport late last Sunday evening after he arrived in the country with a Chinese tour group.

He turned himself in to police late on Tuesday and claimed political asylum.

After questioning Jia and carrying out an investigation, police discovered he was a high-ranking official from a technology association in Shanxi Province and was not a practitioner of Falun Gong as he had claimed.

Jia has been repatriated to China and he is now in detention in Hong Kong.

Liu yesterday said the officials who questioned Jia said that his testimony was uncertain and he seemed irritable when talking about his family.

Liu said that claims for political asylum needed to follow standard procedures and Jia's case was entirely different to those of political dissidents and leaders of democratic movements.

"Jia applied for the trip to Taiwan and obtained a legal permit from the Chinese government so it is difficult for the Taiwanese government to determine if he had suffered from political persecution as he claimed," Liu said.