TAIPEI (CNA) — The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), which oversees relations with China, on July 18 downplayed a report that several Hong Kong residents have come to Taiwan to seek political asylum.
Without saying whether it is in contact with the alleged protesters or the exact number in Taiwan, the MAC said if Taiwan receives applications from Hong Kong residents for political asylum, relevant government agencies will handle the cases in accordance with the law based on the principle of protecting human rights.
Taiwan’s government deals with the stay or residence of Hong Kong citizens in accordance with the Laws and Regulations Regarding Hong Kong and Macao Affairs, the MAC noted, adding that it will provide necessary assistance to Hong Kong citizens whose safety and freedom are threatened due to political factors.
All sectors in Taiwan support Hong Kong’s democracy, freedom and human rights, the council said.
The MAC was responding to a Radio Free Asia report earlier in the day that about 10 Hong Kong protesters have arrived in Taiwan to seek political asylum since the storming of Hong Kong’s Legislative Council on July 1, following a series of demonstrations against a bill that would allow the extradition of suspects to mainland China.
The individuals are currently being provided shelter by non-governmental organizations, according to the report.
A Taiwan lawyer who helps the Hong Kong residents come to Taiwan told the radio station that they have encountered technical difficulties seeking to extend their stay in Taiwan.
By Shen Peng-da and Evelyn Kao