Chinese activist who left tour group found in New Taipei

Taipei--Taiwan police have found Chinese civil rights activist Zhang Xiangzhong (???) and turned him over to the National Immigration Agency (NIA) for questioning, an NIA official said Tuesday.

Zhang was found in New Taipei's Xindian district late Monday, the official said.

The 48-year-old civil rights activist from Shandong province arrived in Taiwan on April 12 as part of a tour group on an eight-day visit but left the group the next day, and his whereabouts remained unknown for days.

In an April 15 interview with Apple Daily, Zhang indicated his intention to seek political asylum in Taiwan.

Commenting on the issue, Chang Hsiao-yueh (???), the head of Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council, said Monday that the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area does not cover political asylum, but political refugees from China may be granted long-term residence on a case-by-case basis.

If Zhang requests asylum, the NIA will examine his case to see whether he meets the requirements for long-term residency, according to Chang.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel