Taiwan will deal with Hong Kong visa issue based on parity: MAC
Taipei, July 23 (CNA) The Taiwan government said Thursday that it will deal with the issue of work permits for Hong Kong officials based on the principles of parity and reciprocity, after several Taiwanese officials in Hong Kong were denied work visa extensions and had to return home.
Chiu Chui-cheng (邱垂正), deputy head and spokesman of Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), the agency in charge of China affairs, also called on the Hong Kong government to adopt expedient measures to deal with the visa issue.
Chiu said the Taiwan government will respond if Hong Kong continues to impose unnecessary restrictions that bypass the agreement signed by the two sides in 2011 to establish the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Economic, Trade and Cultural Office in Taipei.
Chiu's comments came after Kao Ming-tsun (高銘村), acting director-general of Taiwan's representative office in Hong Kong, the office's Consular Affairs chief Chou Chia-jui (周家瑞), and General Division chief Lee Chin-mei (李晉梅) were forced to return to Taiwan last week after the Hong Kong government refused to extend their work visas.
According to media reports from Taiwan, Kao was denied an extension of his work visa because he refused to sign an endorsement of Beijing's "one China" principle.
Meanwhile, according to a Hong Kong news report on Tuesday, two staff members at the Hong Kong Economic, Trade and Cultural Office in Taipei have returned home, as their residence permits were rejected by the Taiwan government.
The report did not specify if the permits were existing ones or documents relating to new applications.
At a regular news briefing on Thursday, Chiu did not directly comment on the report, but said the Taiwan government has been adhering to the 2011 agreement. The Taiwan representative office in Hong Kong will not accept any unreasonable restrictions outside of the accord, he said, calling on the Hong Kong government to promptly resolve the visa issue.
Taiwan will take whatever actions are necessary to uphold its national dignity and will deal with the matter based on parity and reciprocity, Chiu said.
TECO in Hong Kong has still 12 Taiwanese and 50 Hong Kong employees, while the Hong Kong representative office in Taiwan has about six officials, according to Chiu.
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