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Chinese student who criticized Xi online applies for permanent residence in Taiwan

Chinese student who criticized Xi Jinping in live stream applying for permanent residence in Taiwan

Li Jiabao.

Li Jiabao. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- A Chinese student, who denounced China's President Xi Jinping during a live stream in March went to the National Immigration Agency (NIA) to apply for permanent residency on the grounds of political asylum.

Li Jiabao (李家寶), a Chinese exchange student at Chia Nan University of Pharmacy and Science in Tainan, took to live-streaming platform Periscope on Tuesday (March 12) to conduct a question and answer session he titled “Beijing High School Anti-Xi Alliance Meeting," in which he admonishes Communist Party General-Secretary Xi Jinping for declaring himself emperor for life.

Li now believes that if he returns to China, he will be charged with "incitement to subvert state power" or other "strange charges," which would "destroy his personality."

Since Li's student visa will expire at the end of this semester, he went to the NIA today to apply for permanent residence status on the grounds of political asylum, reported CNA.

During an interview with the media today, Li said that there are no relevant laws or regulations in Taiwan to provide political asylum for people such as him. He cannot anticipate the results of his application, but he hopes he can continue to complete his studies in Taiwan

Chinese student who criticized Xi online applies for permanent residence in Taiwan
Li applying for permanent residency at NIA today. (CNA photo)

Regarding the fear that his financial aid would be cut off, Li said that with the help of many friends, his current situation is very good, and the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) has provided relevant assistance. Li says that he has a long-term plan to stay in Taiwan.

Li says that he mainly plans to complete his studies first, while the subsequent issue of employment still needs to be considered and planned. He said that the Chinese government has been closely monitoring him, and as the July 2 deadline for the expiration of his visa nears, the attention will continue to increase.

When asked if his online critique of Xi was an attempt to gain Taiwan citizenship or to a third country, Li said that if his original goal had been political asylum, he would have applied for a visa to the U.S. and applied for it there.

After accepting Li's application for long-term residence, the NIA will cooperate with the MAC on the follow-up procedures, according to CNA.

Li's original controversial live stream video posted on Twitter on March 12.