MAC pans BBC's reference to 'Taiwanese defectors'

2018/05/31 20:41:48 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
MAC Vice Minister and spokesman Chiu Chui-cheng (邱垂正)

MAC Vice Minister and spokesman Chiu Chui-cheng (邱垂正)

Taipei, May 31 (CNA) The Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) objected on Thursday to the term "Taiwanese defectors" that was used on the BBC's Chinese-language website to refer to Taiwan nationals studying or working in China and those who acquire Chinese citizenship by renouncing their own.

The BBC Chinese article, published on Monday, said "Taiwanese defectors" were like "Brexiteers"-- British citizens who favored the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union -- or North Korean defectors.

The trend of "Taiwanese defectors" moving to China to pursue education or careers or to change citizenship will only grow in the future, the BBC article said.

In response, MAC Vice Minister and spokesman Chiu Chui-cheng (邱垂正) said Taiwan is a free democratic country and its government has always protected the right to emigration and other fundamental human rights.

Therefore, the term "Taiwanese defector" is not appropriate for Taiwan because the government respects everyone's choice to hold and pursue different values, Chiu said.

Meanwhile, Beijing's Taiwan Affairs Office said Thursday that China's progress over the past decades has changed Taiwanese perception of the mainland, according to China's state-run Xinhua News Agency.

China will continue to welcome students and other residents of Taiwan, the office's spokesman An Fengshan (安峰山) was cited as saying.

Chiu, however, said China should not express pride at such a trend since no one in the world, including Chinese nationals, would voluntarily choose to live under a communist, authoritarian regime.

Many Chinese officials and wealthy citizens have either stashed funds outside China or have made arrangements for their families to leave the country, Chiu said at a press briefing.

On the issue of Chinese human rights activist Huang Yan (黃燕), who is currently in Taiwan, Chiu said Taiwan has allowed her to stay for three months but will not offer political asylum because it does not have a refugee law in place.

(By Miao Zong-han and Kuan-lin Liu)

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