Pan-democrats yesterday accused Beijing of extending its repression to Hong Kong after a Taiwanese scholar coming for a conference on the Tiananmen Square crackdown was denied entry because his travel permit had been cancelled.
Professor Tseng Chien-yuan arrived on Thursday with a Mainland Travel Permit for Taiwan Residents but was told by an immigration officer that Beijing had cancelled it. He was denied entry and flew back yesterday.
"I still have no idea what went wrong," the associate professor in public administration at Taiwan's Chung Hua University said. "How can Hong Kong's immigration take that order [from Beijing] directly in such an unclear situation?"
The permit is issued by the central government for Taiwanese to enter Hong Kong and the mainland. It was the first time Tseng, a frequent visitor to the mainland, had been denied entry. Lawmaker Lee Cheuk-yan, chairman of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China, said the Communist Party had used "invisible hands" to extend its suppression.
"It's ridiculous for Beijing to ban a Taiwanese scholar who isn't even an activist," he said.
Tseng was to have attended an international conference on the crackdown of June 4, 1989, at City University today.
"I was just coming for an academic conference. I'm neither an activist nor a politician," he said. "This … casts doubt on whether 'one country, two systems' still exists in Hong Kong."
Lee urged the chief executive to demand an explanation from Beijing. Democrat Albert Ho Chun-yan, also an alliance member, said the incident showed Beijing "wants to send a message to Taiwanese scholars not to intervene on sensitive issues".
Security minister Lai Tung-kwok said he would not comment on individual cases.