President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration is just paying lip service to Hong Kong’s protesters, and it needs to enact legislation to provide them with “more substantial and due protection,” the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) said yesterday.
“Before the [Jan. 11 presidential election], the Tsai administration told everyone that it supports Hong Kong, but so far the Tsai administration’s support for Hong Kong appears to be just talk,” KMT Culture and Communications Committee chairwoman Alicia Wang (王育敏) told a news conference in Taipei.
With a new session at the Legislative Yuan set to open on Friday, “we hope that the Tsai administration will come up with specific measures to give Hong Kong friends more specific legal protection,” Wang said.
Photo: Tu Chien-jung, Taipei Times
The KMT is calling on Tsai and her Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration to “give them more substantial and due protection through legislation,” she said.
Since Taiwan does not have a refugee asylum law, there is no “principled law” to deal with cases where people have come to Taiwan under emergency circumstances to seek asylum for political reasons, KMT Legislator Chen I-hsin (陳以信) told the news conference.
Article 18 of the Act Governing Relations With Hong Kong and Macau (香港澳門關係條例) gives the government the ability to, under emergency situations, provide “necessary assistance” to residents of Hong Kong or Macau whose safety is threatened because of political reasons, Chen said.
Photo: Wu Chun-feng, Taipei Times
However, it is not clear if the term “necessary assistance” means that Taiwan’s immigration laws could be circumvented, as Article 74 of the Immigration Act (入出國及移民法) stipulates that people who enter the nation without permission can be punished by up to three years in prison, he said.
A draft amendment to Article 18 of the Hong Kong and Macau act that he and other KMT lawmakers proposed in May would give the government a “legal basis” to deal with the issue, through “minimal amendments,” he said.
The Tsai administration’s Hong Kong Humanitarian Aid Project only applies to people who enter Taiwan legally, he said.
However, the people who are truly in need of humanitarian or emergency assistance are unable to travel legally, he added.
“Although on the surface the Tsai administration says it wants to support Hong Kong, in reality, it appears to be taking advantage of Hong Kong,” Chen said.
The DPP should prioritize the proposed amendments to the Hong Kong and Macau act in the upcoming session, he said.
Additional reporting by CNA
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