Dai Qing in first visit to Taipei

DISSIDENT journalist Dai Qing arrived in Taipei yesterday for her first visit to Taiwan.

Ms Dai, 50, who has finished her study at Harvard University in the United States on a Nieman Fellowship, said she hoped to return to the mainland after the visit and resume her job at the Guangming Daily after she returns to Beijing next week.

''They have no reasons to bar my return - China is the only place I call home,'' she said, adding her passport showed she had not acquired residence status in any foreign country.

Last summer, she was barred from returning to the mainland from the US for a week. She was then stranded in Hongkong and was only allowed to return to Beijing after the personal intervention of Prime Minister Mr Li Peng.

Ms Dai said she had decided to visit Taiwan as she had been writing for a Taiwan journal, The Echo, on Chinese folk culture.

Ms Dai, an outspoken critic of the Government, spent 10 months in jail after the 1989 democracy movement was crushed in China.

After her release from jail, she was barred from returning to work at the Guangming Daily. She was allowed to leave for the US in late 1991 to belatedly take up the fellowship from Harvard.

The daughter of a revolutionary martyr, Ms Dai was raised the adopted daughter of the late marshal Mr Ye Jianying. Her family background gave her access to the top echelons of the Chinese leadership.

Ms Dai said she planned to visit friends in Taiwan before leaving for Beijing via Hongkong next Friday.

The Kuomintang government fled to Taiwan in 1949 after losing a civil war to communist forces on mainland China. Tensions between Taiwan and China have eased in recent years after Taiwan lifted restrictions to allow private exchanges.