PFP spokesman lashes out at China after visa denial

By Chen Yan-ting and Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Sat, Jan 25, 2014 - Page 3

People First Party (PFP) spokesman Clarence Wu (吳崑玉) on Wednesday criticized China as an “isolated, autocratic and hellish nation” after being denied entry into China’s Fujian Province.

Wu, whose party supports Taiwan’s unification with China, said on Facebook on Wednesday that he planned to attend the wedding ceremony of a reporter from China’s Xinhua news agency in Fujian’s Sanming City, but the Chinese customs officers in Xiamen refused to issue him a visa on arrival.

“I asked the officers to call the director of China’s Taiwan Affairs Office’s Party Affairs Bureau for assistance on my behalf, but to no avail. They then decided to send me back to Taiwan,” Wu said.

Wu attributed his denied entry to China to his denouncement of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) during the latter’s presidential campaign in 2012 and his refusal to act at the Taiwan Affairs Office’s (TAO) beck and call, which he believes resulted in his being blacklisted by the Chinese government.

“It appears that China remains an isolated, autocratic and hellish nation, where those who submit to its government thrive and those who do not perish. If you [the TAO] intend to turn your friends into foes, then bring it on,” Wu said.

When reached for comment on Thursday, Wu said he had been refused entry into China three times since 2012 and that he had been granted a single-entry permit only once — for a seven-day stay — to attend an academic event in China after he submitted a copy of his itinerary and the invitation letter from the event’s organizer.

Under current regulations, Taiwanese holders of a Mainland Travel Permit for Taiwan Residents (台胞證) must apply for either a single-entry or multiple-entry permit before they visit China. Only a few of China’s ports of entry are entitled to issue Taiwanese visitors with visas on arrival.

Wu said he decided to try to get a visa on arrival for his visit on Wednesday after some of his connections in the office had assured him beforehand that he had been removed from China’s blacklist.

“I have absolutely no idea what China’s guidelines for blacklisting people are. I wonder whether those Democratic Progressive Party [DPP] members who make frequent [sic] cross-strait trips also receive the same treatment as me,” Wu said, adding he did not rule out that the names on China’s blacklist were provided by the Ma administration.