Visa for Chen
Guangcheng to be issued soon: council
JUNE VISIT? The Mainland Affairs Council said
that it would issue an entry permit for the Chinese dissident as soon as all
documentation requirements are met
Staff writer, with CNA
Chinese dissident Chen Guang-cheng (陳光誠), who is now studying in the US, is
welcome to visit Taiwan and his entry permit will be issued soon, the Mainland
Affairs Council said.
The council said late on Sunday that it had asked the National Immigration
Agency to assist Chen’s host in providing some additional supporting documents
needed to process his entry permit.
Chen’s entry application has been approved and a permit will be issued as soon
as all documentation requirements are met, the council said in a statement.
The statement came after Chiu Ling-yao (邱齡瑤), the secretary-general of the
Taiwan Association for China Human Rights, which is arranging Chen’s visit, said
on Sunday that Chen had yet to obtain an entry permit even though his
application was filed in February.
“According to regulations, an entry permit can normally be obtained two weeks
after an application is submitted. In Chen’s case, more than two months have
passed, and we have yet to get a positive response,” Chiu said.
She said it seemed that both the council and the immigration agency were trying
to put up barriers to Chen’s visit.
However, the immigration agency said on Sunday that its interagency screening
commission approved Chen’s application on April 23 and that the entry permit
would be issued after being confirmed by the council.
The council said it has always welcomed Chinese to visit Taiwan in accordance
“This same stance applies to Chen’s case,” the council said, but it added that
Chen’s host still needed to provide several documents, such as Chen’s full
Once all of the required documents are submitted, Chen’s entry permit will be
issued, it said.
Chen sparked a diplomatic tussle in April last year when he fled house arrest in
China and sought refuge at the US embassy in Beijing. Chinese authorities
subsequently agreed to let him leave for the US to study, along with his wife
and two children.
The 41-year-old, blind, self-trained lawyer has been studying at New York
University since then.
Chiu said Chen and his family are scheduled to arrive in Taipei on June 23.
During his 20-day stay, he is set to appear at public events for about one week,
including an international news conference on June 24, a speech at the
legislature on June 25, a speech at National Cheng Kung University in Greater
Tainan on June 26 and informal talks with professors and students at National
Taiwan University’s College of Law on June 27, Chiu said.
Chen is also due to visit several non-governmental organizations and tourist
attractions, Chiu added.
Jerome Cohen, a professor at New York University, who also taught President Ma
Ying-jeou (馬英九) at Harvard University, is to accompany Chen on his trip.
Chen was sentenced to four years and three months in prison in 2006 for his
human rights advocacy and vocal opposition to China’s forced abortion policy. He
was put under virtual house arrest after being released in 2010.