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June 24, 2017

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US renews re-entry permit for dissident

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Exiled Chinese dissident Wang Dan (王丹) yesterday said his U.S. re-entry permit has been renewed by the U.S. government after he requested speedier progress in his travel document procedure, stressing that he is grateful for the U.S. government's "humanitarian support" and he will return to Taiwan for medical treatment as soon as possible.

Wang, who is currently in the United States, recently expressed via social media that he is worried that he may have a brain tumor and he would like to take further medical tests in Taiwan instead of in the U.S. He further explained that medical expenses are relatively low compared to those in the U.S.

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.

Wang last week said as he was still waiting for his U.S. travel document to be renewed, and he hoped Taiwanese authorities would consider humanitarian and compassionate reasons to let him enter Taiwan first and then allow him to submit his U.S. re-entry permit later.

Taiwan's National Immigration Agency (NIA) on July 29 rejected Wang's request to enter Taiwan without his U.S. re-entry permit. The NIA said that, as Wang does not have a valid passport, he has to possess both the entry permit for Taiwan and the re-entry permit for Taiwan to be allowed to return to Taiwan.

Right after the NIA rejected Wang's request, Wang said via social media that he had filed a request to the U.S. government seeking its support. Wang said he had explained his urgency to the U.S., hoping the country would consider his circumstances and speed up the progress his travel document applications.

Wang yesterday said that U.S. immigration had approved his re-entry permit at the earliest possible time, noting that he will return to Taiwan for medical examinations once he receives his travel document for the U.S.

The exiled Chinese dissident further said that he is thankful for the people and media outlets who criticized him harshly when he needed help. He said the criticisms made him more determined to make Taiwan a "more democratic, more civilized, and more beautiful land."

The NIA yesterday responded to Wang's remarks, reiterating that Wang will be allowed to enter Taiwan if he possess both the entry permit for Taiwan and re-entry permit for the U.S.

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