Canada takes in Chinese asylum seeker

MEDICAL ISSUES::Liu Xinglian, who arrived with Yan Kefen in September last year, and has diabetes and hypertension, must remain in Taiwan for medical treatment

Staff writer, with CNA

Wed, May 22, 2019 - Page 2

Chinese asylum seeker Yan Kefen (顏克芬), who had been stuck in limbo at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport for more than seven months, on Sunday arrived in Canada, Radio Free Asia said on Facebook yesterday.

Using his People’s Republic of China passport, Yan on Saturday night departed from the airport and reached Ottawa after transiting through Toronto the next day, the broadcaster said.

Yan and another Chinese national, Liu Xinglian (劉興聯), on Sept. 27 last year arrived at the airport on a flight from Thailand on their way to Beijing, but did not board their scheduled flight to China later that day.

Instead, they filed for asylum with local authorities using refugee certificates issued by the UN.

However, Taiwan does not yet have an adequate mechanism to deal with refugee claims, the Mainland Affairs Council said.

Without travel documents that would allow them to enter the nation through normal channels, the two men had to stay in a restricted area at the airport.

The two on Jan. 30 exited Taiwan briefly for “professional exchanges” by flying to an undisclosed country, but returned later that day.

Upon arriving in Ottawa, Yan told the broadcaster that he was grateful to the Taiwanese and Canadian governments, as well as all the people and non-governmental organizations that have helped him.

New School For Democracy chairman Tseng Chien-yuan (曾建元), a guarantor for the two Chinese asylum seekers, confirmed the news, saying that Yan left for Canada after receiving approval for professional immigration to the country.

Liu, 64, who has diabetes and hypertension, must stay in Taiwan for medical treatment, Tseng said.

Council spokesman Chiu Chui-cheng (邱垂正) yesterday declined to comment on the two Chinese asylum seekers.