NIA says Wang Dan must have valid travel documents to return
By Lauly Li ,The China Post
July 30, 2014, 12:04 am TWN
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The National Immigration Agency (NIA) yesterday formed a resolution, saying that the exiled Chinese dissident Wang Dan (王丹) has to possess a valid re-entry permit issued by the U.S. before entering Taiwan.
Wang, who is currently in the United States, recently expressed via social media that he hopes to be allowed to enter Taiwan so as to receive medical treatment as he is worried that he might have a brain tumor.
Serving as a visiting professor at Taiwan's National Tsing Hua University (國立清華大學), Wang, a U.S. green card holder, is covered under Taiwan's health insurance program and possesses an entry permit issued by the Taiwanese government.
According to Taiwan's regulations, as Wang does not have a valid passport, he needs to possess a re-entry permit for the U.S. and an entry permit for Taiwan to be allowed to return.
Wang said that he is currently applying to renew his re-entry permit issued by U.S. authorities, noting that such an application could take months to be completed and he is worried about his deteriorating health.
Wang said he hopes the Taiwanese authorities will consider humanitarian and compassionate reasons to let him enter Taiwan first and then allow him to submit his U.S. re-entry permit later.
The activist said that he wanted to return to Taiwan soon to undergo medical tests to find the cause of the dizziness that he has been suffering from over the past few months. He further explained that he wants to have the tests done in Taiwan because the medical expenses are relatively low compared with those in the U.S.
The NIA yesterday held a cross-ministry deliberation meeting over Wang's case, noting that the agency, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) all care about Wang's health. The NIA said the government hopes Wang will soon receive his U.S. re-entry permit, noting that the R.O.C. Government respects the U.S.' authority to issue travel documents as it sees fit.
Wang said he respects the NIA's resolution, noting that as the Taiwanese government has decided not to help him for humanitarian reasons, he will ask the U.S. Congress to help him speed up the progress of his re-entry travel permit into the U.S.
Wang further said he hopes NIA officials will explain to him why he could not use his green card as a replacement for his U.S. re-entry permit to enter Taiwan.
In response to criticisms against his request to receive medical treatment in Taiwan, Wang said he has been making his required contributions to Taiwan's health insurance program for the last two years, adding that it is not unreasonable for him to seek medical assistance in Taiwan instead of in the U.S.
Noting that he will not accept private donations, the activist said he will start to take medical tests in the U.S. paid from his own pocket to find out the cause of his constant dizziness.