Taipei, May 10 (CNA) The centrist Taiwan People’s Party (TPP) has demanded an explanation from China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) after a TPP lawmaker was barred from entering China to attend a religious event on Tuesday.
TPP Legislator Lai Hsiang-ling (賴香伶) said that after traveling to Xiamen Airport on Tuesday, she was told at immigration her Mainland Travel Permit for Taiwan Residents had been “invalidated,” and she would not be allowed to enter the country.
No explanation was given for the decision, said Lai, who had been planning to attend a cross-strait Daoist pilgrimage in Fujian Province.
In an interview on Wednesday, TPP Chairman and presidential hopeful Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said the TAO needs to explain the incident, which violates the principle of such exchanges being conducted on the basis of equality and dignity.
The party will wait to hear the TAO’s explanation before deciding how to respond, Ko said.
The incident is notable in that the TPP, which controls five seats in the 113-seat Legislature, often advocates for a moderate, pragmatic approach to cross-strait issues.
As mayor of Taipei from 2014 to 2022, for example, Ko balanced occasional criticism of China with a commitment to cross-strait dialogue, such as by continuing to hold the annual Shanghai-Taipei City Forum, despite criticism from some in the ruling Democratic Progressive Party.