Taiwan to implement special visa, investment rules for Hong Kongers
Taipei, Dec. 4 (CNA) Taiwan will introduce a special set of immigration and other rules for people from Hong Kong who wish to enter for the purposes of study, work or investment, the nation's top China policymaking body said Thursday, after three pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong were sentenced to prison the previous day.
The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) said it has drawn up proposals to make it easier for those categories of Hong Kongers to obtain Taiwan visas and work permits -- plans that are being worked on by the relevant government ministries.
The goal of the proposals is to ease the visa rules for professionals and outstanding graduates who wish to work or further their studies in Taiwan, MAC spokesman and deputy head Chiu Chui-cheng (邱垂正) said at a press briefing.
A proposal to implement a "green lane" between Taiwan and Hong Kong has also been put forth, with the aim of expediting the process for businessmen from the special administrative region who wish to invest in Taiwan, he said.
When pressed for details of the "green lane" proposal, Chiu said they were still being discussed and would be made public when "the time is right."
The proposals will be implemented after the relevant agencies flesh out the details, he added.
On the question of whether the entry restrictions for Hong Kong pro-democracy activists will be relaxed, Chiu said the MAC will revise the relevant procedures if the existing ones prove inadequate.
In the meantime, he said, Hong Kongers who wish to come to Taiwan because their freedom and security are in imminent danger due to political factors should follow the existing rules under the Laws and Regulations Regarding Hong Kong & Macao Affairs.
Asked about Hong Kong civil servants who may wish to visit Taiwan, Chiu said entry applications filed by those who have served in the Chinese Communist Party, Chinese government or army, or were born in China, will be reviewed by a joint committee comprising MAC and border control officials, in accordance with the revised Article 22 of the Regulations Governing Residency or Permanent Residency for People of the Hong Kong Area and the Macau Area.
The MAC announced the new proposals after Hong Kong democracy activists Joshua Wong, Agnes Chow and Ivan Lam, all in their 20s, received prison sentences Thursday for their involvement in mass protests there last year.
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