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Taiwan to open specialized office helping Hongkongers

Plan aims to attract skilled workers and students from Hong Kong while offering assistance to city's protesters

MAC Minister Chen Ming-tong

MAC Minister Chen Ming-tong (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) on Thursday (June 18) said it will soon open a specialized office to welcome Hong Kong’s skilled workers and students, while offering help to Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters.

The office will begin operations on July 1 and its principal role is to help Hong Kong professionals, Hong Kong-based investors and entrepreneurs, as well as those who have been involved in the protest movement, to gain residency in Taiwan, announced MAC Minister Chen Ming-tong (陳明通) at a press conference on Thursday.

With government funding (though the minister declined to specify how much), the office will work with non-profit organizations to offer expanded assistance to Hong Kong protesters and aid their settlement, employment, and education in Taiwan. Nevertheless, Chen stressed the government would only be able to provide services when Hongkongers have entered Taiwan legally, adding the plan intends to support — not rescue.

Since large-scale anti-government protests erupted in Hong Kong last June, there has been an influx of Hongkongers seeking residency in Taiwan, including pro-democracy protesters who fear being prosecuted by the Hong Kong authorities. Chen declined to reveal how many Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters had acquired residency since 2019.

The government is considering changing the relevant policies to attract skilled Hong Kong workers and students to Taiwan, said Chen. The office will “strengthen its consultation functions regarding education, employment, immigration, investment, and opening up businesses” in Taiwan, added Chen.