Asia

Taiwan gives Chinese asylum seeker temporary housing

Taiwan's immigration department says it has provided temporary accommodation to a Chinese dissident who left his tour group intending to apply for political asylum in democratic Taiwan.

Zhang Xiangzhong abandoned his fellow travelers on April 13 hoping to stay on the self-governing island to promote democracy on the Chinese mainland.

The department said Tuesday that it found Zhang on Monday night and provided him with temporary accommodation because he did not have any. It said it was investigating the reasons for him leaving his tour group.

Taiwan stopped offering political asylum to Chinese citizens to discourage illegal immigrants and a string of plane hijackings in the 1990s by mainland citizens wanting to flee to Taiwan.

The Taiwanese government says it sometimes offers long-term residence permits on a case-by-case basis.