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Taiwan rejects dissident suspected of supporting forced unification

2019/04/19 22:47:04

Chiu Chui-cheng (邱垂正/CNA file photo)

Taipei, April 19 (CNA) Taiwan's authorities said Friday Chinese dissident Wang Xizhe (王希哲), who had been jailed in China for advocating democracy and fled to the United States in 1996, was not welcome here because he had been labeled an advocate of unification through the use of force, despite his declaration that he did not uphold such an idea.

Had Wang, 70, flown to Taiwan as planned this weekend from Hong Kong, he would still be ordered to leave, said Chiu Chui-cheng (邱垂正), deputy chief of the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), Friday.

Wang was invited by the New Taipei-based Chinese Unification Promotion Party (CUPP) to attend its planned seminar on cross-Taiwan Strait relations from April 23 to 27 on the island.

Because the theme of the seminar "was highly related to unification by force," the five Chinese scholars invited to the event, including Wang, were all listed as "unwelcome figures," Chiu said.

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) instructed on Tuesday that Chinese nationals who have advocated for the use of military force against Taiwan be barred from entering the country when necessary.

The order followed the deportation last week of Chinese academic Li Yi (李毅), a member of the so-called scholar group for the CUPP seminar, after he advocated for Chinese military action to force Taiwan's unification.

Other members of the group were reportedly Li Su (李肅), the head of the Beijing-based Modern Think-tank Forum, and U.S.-based China studies academics Feng Shengping (馮勝平) and Guo Yanhua (郭岩華).

In Wang's case, he was prevented from entering Hong Kong and deported back to the U.S. on Monday, according to media reports. The Hong Kong immigration authorities did not explain the reason of the deportation.

According to Ming Pao, a Hong Kong-based Chinese-language newspaper, Wang was convinced the denial of his visit was related to his plan to travel to Taiwan from Hong Kong.

After Li Yi's deportation, Wang was reported to have issued an open letter defending himself as not an "advocate of unification by force."

He criticized the MAC's practice of not allowing people to enter Taiwan before they make their speeches, which he said was a "violation of the principles of speech freedom, freedom and democracy, and the rule of law that Taiwan's authorities have upheld."

Wang has been in exile for two decades after publishing a joint statement with late Chinese Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo in 1996, calling on the Chinese Communist Party and the Kuomintang, which was then the ruling party in Taiwan, to start negotiations for the "peaceful and democratic unification of China".

Because of the statement, Liu was sentenced without a trial to three years in a labor camp in October that year.

(By Miao Zong-han and Elizabeth Hsu)
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