TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed on Tuesday that Chinese dissident Wang Jui (王睿), after being detained in Taiwan for four years, had arrived in the U.S. in pursuit of political asylum, but said the government was not in charge of the case.
As of now, it is not known what status Wang was granted upon his arrival in the U.S, or how long he will be allowed to stay.
Wang came to Taiwan in 2014 and attempted to sail a boat to the U.S. in September the next year with four other Chinese dissidents. However, the boat was stranded within Taiwan’s maritime boundary. All the people were repatriated to China except for Wang, who stayed in Taiwan.
According to Radio Free Asia (RFA), Wang arrived in Washington, D.C. last Friday.
During an interview with the radio, Wang said he was very grateful for the U.S. government for their dedication to helping him. Wang also thanked President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and Jeff Yang (楊家駿), director-general at the National Immigration Agency, and said they were very kind.
Wang told the radio now that he was in the U.S., he would continue his commitment to fighting for democracy in China.
Officials in both Taiwan and China have made few comments on the case.
Chiu Chiu-cheng (邱垂正), spokesperson for the Mainland Affairs Council, said on Friday that the council was aware of the case but had no comment about it.
Remus Chen (陳立國), director-general at MOFA's Department of North American Affairs, said on Tuesday that the ministry had offered some help while the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) was handling the case.
Chen emphasized the ministry had only streamlined the administrative process needed by both the AIT and the asylum seeker.
Chen added if there would be other Chinese dissidents seeking asylum in the U.S. through Taiwan in the future, the government would take similar measures based on its respect toward freedom, democracy, and human rights.
So far, the NIA and AIT have neither commented on the case nor confirmed it.
The radio also quoted human rights groups as saying that Wang was the first Chinese dissident and asylum seeker in 16 years to have succeeded in going to the U.S. through Taiwan. The previous such case was that of Tang Yuan-chun (唐元雋) in 2002.