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Taiwan’s government on Monday said it had amended regulations to prevent mainland Chinese citizens currently residents of Hong Kong and Macau from moving to the self-ruled island to spy or engage in other illegal acts.

The Mainland Affairs Council, Taiwan’s top government agency on policy dealings with Beijing, said in a statement.

According to the statement, the Interior Ministry amends some regulations preventing Chinese citizens who are residents of Hong Kong and Macau from moving to Taiwan to engage in “infiltration united front propaganda, disturbance, even spying activities.”

“In the future, in accordance with newly amended regulations, the Taiwan government will convene cross-agency reviews on the relocation applications filed by residents of Hong Kong or Macau.

“Those that are originally from mainland China or who are current or former government or military officials.

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“The new measures aim to enhance security and protect national security,’’ it said.

Shortly after the new Hong Kong national security law was imposed, the Taiwan government on July 1 launched a new office specialised in assisting Hong Kongers seeking asylum and opportunities to relocate to the self-ruled island.

However, the opening also induced some concerns from officials and residents that China may attempt to influence its democracy through methods such as spying.

Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen recently condemned the arrest of democracy activists in Hong Kong, including Next Digital media group founder Jimmy Lai, reiterating that Taiwan will keep its promise to support Hong Kong’s people and offer them assistance.

Taiwan has had an independent government since 1949; however, China considers the democratic island part of its territory. (dpa/NAN).

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