Taiwan open to Hong Kong people applying for residency

MAC spokesman Chiu Chui-cheng (邱垂正)

MAC spokesman Chiu Chui-cheng (邱垂正) (CNA photo)

Taipei (CNA) Taiwan will give consideration to Hong Kong people who apply for residency in Taiwan under existing regulations, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said Tuesday, amid the violent suppression of protests taking place in Hong Kong.

Taiwan's law governing permits for Hong Kong residents entering Taiwan is capable of dealing with most applications for residency filed by Hong Kong people, said the MAC, which oversees relations with China.

Due consideration will be given if applicants need special assistance, although the MAC has not received any such requests, spokesman Chiu Chui-cheng (邱垂正) said.

"Based on our humanitarian spirit and respect for human rights, the government will provide assistance to specific individuals on a case-by-case basis," the spokesman said, without specifying what kind of help might be available.

Under existing regulations, people from Hong Kong can apply for residency in Taiwan if they are studying in Taiwan, are related to Taiwan residents or employed by Taiwan's governments or colleges, have special skills or have made a major contribution to Taiwan.

Taiwan Association for Human Rights Secretary-General Chiu E-ling (邱伊翎) urged the government to establish a refugee law covering asylum seekers that provides a systematic way to deal with their cases.

The group has argued that Taiwan's existing arbitrary system makes it very difficult for asylum seekers to find refuge in Taiwan.