Chinese asylum seekers Yan Bojun, 43, and Liu Xinglian, 63, could potentially be allowed entry into Taiwan for “professional exchanges” although a plan has not been finalized, according to Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council (MAC).

MAC Deputy Minister Chiu Chui-cheng (邱垂正) said on Thursday that the asylum seekers, who have been stranded in a restricted area in Taoyuan International Airport for the past four months, could enter Taiwan under a proposal still being discussed by government agencies, according to CNA.


Credit: VOA / CC0

The customs area at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.

The two Chinese nationals arrived in Taiwan from Bangkok on Sept. 27, 2018 after leaving Thailand due to fears of arrest, according to New Bloom. They then skipped a scheduled flight to Beijing, instead claiming asylum due to what they said was a threat of political persecution in China.

While the MAC said at the time it could not find evidence of their claims, immigration officers later found that the two men were holding refugee certificates issued by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Taiwan has not passed a formal refugee law, likely out of a fear of angering Beijing.

Audrey Tang makes Top 100 Global Thinkers list

Minister Without Portfolio Audrey Tang (唐鳳), known widely as Taiwan’s first “digital minister,” was named by Foreign Policy magazine as one of its Top 100 Global Thinkers.

Tang was chosen to the list under a group titled “readers’ choice,” along with figures such as South Korea President Moon Jae-in and former U.S. first lady Michelle Obama.


Credit: Pixabay

Taiwan digital minister Audrey Tang.

“This is recognition of Taiwan’s democracy and social cohesion,” Tang said on Twitter. “It’s also affirmation of the resilience of our people and ability to work together in realizing open government.”

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) also congratulated Tang on Twitter, saying: “I thank [Audrey Tang] as she has played a key role in promoting open government, social innovation, and youth participation.”

Tang, who is the world’s only transgender Cabinet minister, became known as a star programmer and entrepreneur before being named to Tsai’s cabinet in 2016.

Taiwanese venture capitalist Lee Kai-fu (李開復), the founder of VC firm Sinovation Ventures, also made the Foreign Policy list.

Other news from Taiwan:

► Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers and political groups backed culture minister Cheng Li-chun (鄭麗君) after she was slapped by retired singer Cheng Hui-chung (鄭惠中) for her views on repurposing Taipei’s Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall. (Taipei Times)

► As for Cheng Hui-chung, she was questioned by Taipei prosecutors and could face a jail sentence of up to three years. (Straits Times)

► A pork product infected with African swine fever has been found in the mail for the first time, according to Taiwan’s Council of Agriculture. (CNA)

► Taiwan’s navy unveiled a new long-range surveillance drone on Thursday, which officials said can fly for 12 hours and will help patrol the Taiwan Strait. (Channel NewsAsia)

► Taipei’s metro is getting some international love – and we agree that, after living in New York City, the MRT is heaven on (and under) earth. (INSIDER)


Daniel Schwen / CC BY-SA 3.0

Next time you get shoved aside on the MRT, just be thankful you're not here.

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Editor: Nick Aspinwall (@Nick1Aspinwall)

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