Taiwan’s top authority for Hong Kong affairs says it will help Hongkongers seeking political asylum through flexible means, despite renewed calls for a legalized mechanism.
At a joint online press conference on the second anniversary of Hong Kong’s mass protests on Wednesday, Taiwan Association for Human Rights legal department director Wang Si said Hong Kong asylum seekers felt helpless with the current system, where a special office handled each application on a case by case basis, with some flexibility.
The process was also a waste of administrative resources, he said.
She urged the Taiwanese government to amend relevant laws so that Hong Kong asylum seekers could follow official guidelines.
Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council, which oversees Hong Kong matters, told the island’s Central News Agency that it had taken various substantial actions, including establishing the Taiwan-Hong Kong Services and Exchanges Office and handling humanitarian aid matters for Hongkongers in accordance with existing laws.
The council maintained that it could take flexible and appropriate measures regarding individual cases using existing laws, citing several provisions under the “Laws and Regulations Regarding Hong Kong and Macao Affairs,” the “Enforcement Rules of the Act Governing Relations with Hong Kong and Macau,” and the “Regulations Governing Permits for People from Hong Kong and Macau Setting up Residence or Permanent Residence in the R.O.C.”
Despite having no refugee laws, Article 18 of the “Laws and Regulations Regarding Hong Kong and Macao Affairs” says the Taiwanese government could provide necessary assistance to residents of the two cities “whose safety and liberty are immediately threatened for political reasons.”
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