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Beijing asks Chinese students to leave Taiwan before presidential election: report

Message spreading among Chinese students and their parents

Taiwanese cast their votes.

Taiwanese cast their votes. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Beijing has reportedly asked Chinese students to leave Taiwan before the presidential and legislative elections scheduled for January 11, even though some students have said they would rather stay on the island to observe the voting process themselves.

A Chinese municipal government office that handles the affairs of local residents with children studying in Taiwan has announced that students are advised to return to China before January 11, according to a screenshot sent by a parent to Apple Daily on Saturday (Nov. 9). The message does not provide an explanation, but many believe it is meant to prevent Chinese students from staying in the country while the Taiwanese electorate casts its ballot for the next leader of the country.

Several students from different Chinese cities said they had received similar messages, the report said. As election day falls on the final week of classes for many universities in Taiwan, some Chinese students are now asking schools if they can take their final exams earlier, it added.

Taiwan’s Ministry of Education has said it is looking into the matter. The ministry added that there is no need for overseas students to worry about Taiwan’s elections, as they are usually conducted peacefully and serve as an example of how democracy is operated.

While some students intend to follow the advice given by Chinese authorities, others have expressed an interest in observing the elections firsthand. An official from the University Entrance Committee who deals with Chinese students told Apple Daily that the message should be a “regular notice” that Beijing issues whenever there are important elections taking place in Taiwan.