A candidate in Taiwan’s imminent parliamentary elections has had his Hong Kong visa application denied for a second time after being invited to join a news programme at CNN’s regional headquarters in the city.

Huang Kuo-chang, a New Power Party candidate running in next week’s Legislative Yuan polls, posted a message on his Facebook page on Tuesday saying that he was invited by join a CNN programme hosted by anchor Kristie Lu Stout.

“I admire this famous CNN anchor, and the theme was meaningful, so I was going to agree to that,” Huang said. “However, the programme would be produced in Hong Kong, and my visa application was denied […] in 2014; I just tried to apply once again, and I was still denied entry.”

Huang Kuo-chang (middle). Photo: Facebook.

In June 2014, Huang planned to join the annual July 1 protest march along with Taiwanese student leaders Lin Fei-fan and Chen Wei-ting. All three had their visa applications denied then.

Huang, a legal scholar and one of the leaders of the student-led Sunflower Movement that occupied Taiwan’s legislature for 23 days in 2014, said that he felt “very disappointed.”

“I do not understand why the Hong Kong government would deny the entry of a moderate and rational legal scholar like me. The only possible explanation is that Hong Kong has fundamentally lost its autonomy under Beijing’s control.”

Fourty-three-year-old Huang was a researcher at the Institutum Iurisprudentiae of Taiwan’s Academia Sinica, focussing on legal reform. He formed the group “Taiwan March” and joined the New Power Party shortly after the Sunflower Movement. He has been the chairperson of the New Power Party since 2015.

‘Individual cases’

The Immigration Department told HKFP that it will not comment on individual cases nor make public information concerning individual cases.

In handling immigration cases, the Immigration Department said it will consider all relevant factors to determine whether to approve applicants’ entry in accordance with the laws of Hong Kong and prevailing immigration policies.

In January 2011, Tiananmen student leaders Wang Dan and Wu’er Kaixi, now both based in Taiwan, were similarly denied entry to Hong Kong. They had intended to come pay respects to the late Szeto Wah, founder of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China.

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.